May 29, 2009 With an estimated value of USD$6.02 billion, the kids market can be lucrative, if you can crack it. The UGO automatic safety brake for strollers and prams is one of those good design ideas that could find a baby toehold in the market – one day.
The UGO uses a handheld unit, worn by the parent, to communicate wirelessly to the brakes, located in the wheel hub of the stroller. If the parent and stroller separate by more than two meters, the wireless connection is broken, the brake activates and the stroller is prevented from rolling any further.
The UGO brake system is powered by the rotation of the wheel and is fully contained within the wheel hub, which makes it simple to maintain and eliminates the need to replace batteries. It is designed to easily retrofit to existing strollers and prams.
It's not the first time smart ideas for strollers have caught our eye here at Gizmag. We've reported on the the stroller that folds up into a backpack and Strollometer, a wireless speedometer for strollers.
While only on the drawing-board, the UGO braking system is a finalist in this year's Australian Design Awards student category. Its designer, University of New South Wales student James Wansey, was motivated by the high number of children treated each year for stroller-related injuries in Australia and the occasional fatality. Of the 580 children treated, 10 percent is estimated to have arisen from cases where the stroller has rolled away. There were two deaths in 2007.
"The UGO Safety Brake is a solution to this problem by providing parents with a product that will decrease their child’s risk of injury," says Wansey.