June 13th, 2021 was a very special day.
Maybe you didn’t realize it, but on that day the life of 130 million people worldwide may have taken a turn for good.
That’s how many people would benefit from Andrea Depalo’s invention, Avanchair, according to the Wheelchair Foundation.
On that day, indeed, his “smart” wheelchair reached its crowdfunding goal on Eppela.
Now a new chapter begins: Avanchair needs to move from “dream” to “reality”.
And we at SPII are happy to be part of it, lending our knowledge and experience in Human-Machine Interfaces to this amazing project.
Not only because it will help millions of people overcome their disability and live a better life.
But also because Avanchair is an original and beautiful manifestation of our Mission and Vision.
And when you let your Vision shape your Future, great things happen.
When innovation is born
Andrea Depalo is an Italian entrepreneur who had a dream: help people with a disability like himself move more freely.
A dream that started to become a Vision some years ago, when he first pictured the idea of Avanchair.
A wheelchair that could help its users perform a number of movements, thanks to a motorized seat that can move vertically and horizontally.
With this simple but essential innovation, the persons using the chair can get closer to a car, a bathroom, a bed or any other surface they may want to move to, empowering them to be more autonomous and free during their everyday life.
An innovation that is simple…but also enormously complex.
It needs, among the rest, a human-machine interface that is essential, easy to use, precise and effective.
Something we at SPII know well about.
The initial connection between Andrea and SPII was totally random: by chance, the entrepreneur lives maybe 300 meters away from the company’s headquarters, in Saronno.
So at the very beginning of this journey, few years ago, we met, we exchanged opinions, we gave him suggestions about the technological side, we pledged our interest to the project.
During the following years, Andrea went on “building” his idea: he found sponsors, partners such as Enel, and the project grew stronger and stronger.
And now, with the crowdfunding campaign successfully concluded, it’s closer than ever to becoming a reality!
There is still much to do before some actual work together can begin, but we knew from the very beginning there was something there – a bond, a connection.
A shared Vision.
When a shared Vision is born
If you have read our story so far, you know that our company has always been strongly tied to the train industry. As the market leader for components and safety devices for railway and industrial applications, we have always been very focused.
But we also had something else, something that made us look further away and beyond our industry.
Something that would later become our motto, synthesizing our Vision and Mission in a sentence:
Wheelchairs are not SPII’s specialty for sure…but mobility is.
“Wherever we can” is not only a slogan, is a way of being: it’s the way we look at the world, the recipe we use to navigate decisions. It’s how we want to be, and how we want other people to be.
Mobility is in our DNA – as it is sustainability, diversity, inclusion. All values we strongly saw from the very beginning in Avanchair.
When, in recent years, SPII had to rely more than ever on its resilience, we decided to look deeply into our company’s soul, with an effort to grow with the times and stay relevant to society’s needs.
What emerged is well summarized in our About Us page:
- It’s a Vision that sees a human being at the center of an automated and robotized world;
- and it’s a Mission that sees us providing the best possible solutions for the interaction between humans and machines, through technology, style and ergonomics.
This consciousness is what led us so far, what informs our decisions and the projects we work on.
And it is what makes us want to contribute to Avanchair: because we see technology as a tool to improve people’s health, happiness and freedom.
So what is a better fit for SPII than a robotized wheelchair, which leverages automation to allow its users to be all of the above?
Our expertise goes well beyond trains: it goes wherever we can.
And we want to help allow people with disability do the same.
See you next time,