Manufacturer bags six-figure funding to advance wheelchair project

Centaur robotics

Centaur Robotics has received £500,000 in funding to help finalise the development of its wheelchair project and to start production.

The Birmingham-based firm received funding from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF I) through the MEIF West Midlands Equity Fund, managed by Midven, part of the Future Planet Capital Group.

The Centaur is a self-balancing electric wheelchair designed to provide unparalleled mobility in and around the home.

Developed by automotive engineers under the guidance of Paul Campbell, a former designer at Ford Motor Company, the Centaur self-balances on two wheels, offering greater mobility compared to traditional four-wheel models.

Eric Kihlstrom, CEO of Centaur Robotics says “At Centaur Robotics, we believe in challenging the status quo to redefine mobility for wheelchair users. This investment from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund marks a pivotal moment in our journey, enabling us to improve accessibility around the home. We are not just building a chair; we are crafting a future where mobility solutions enhance independence and contribute to a more inclusive society.”

With an estimated 1.2 million wheelchair users in the UK, Centaur Robotics aims to prioritise user dignity and experience by focusing on aesthetics in its design.

Centaur Robotics’ design addresses some of these challenges by improving mobility around the home, fitting through standard door frames, and featuring a seat that can be elevated to the height of a standard bar stool.

Mark Wilcockson, senior investment manager at the British Business Bank, said: “The Midlands Engine Investment Fund supports innovative small businesses in the Midlands that will have a positive impact on local economies. This funding from the MEIF in Centaur Robotics for its revolutionary wheelchair will help enrich the lives of wheelchair users through improved
mobility solutions and enhance independent living.”