An idea for a stair-climbing wheelchair
The first tracked prototype
Pre-production prototype made
Start of individual production
The project became a resident of Skolkovo innovation center
1st place at the international Cybathlon Experience in Düsseldorf, Germany
Exports products to 20 countries around the world
Add up to 10 models to the lineup
Restyling of all models in cooperation with Stratos-Swiss GmbH, Switzerland
Start of full cycle production on 2000 sqm
“Caterwil” is a Russian company engaged in the development and production of high-tech rehabilitation equipment for people with disabilities. It started its activities in 2014 as Caterwil LLC under the leadership of I. Nevzorov, an entrepreneur with an engineering background. In 2017, it continued its activities as Caterwil LLC when it joined the ranks of Skolkovo Foundation residents. The company has an office in Moscow and production is concentrated in Novosibirsk.
The company’s main product is the Caterwil GTS electric stair-climbing wheelchair, which is designed to create a barrier-free environment for people with disabilities. The power wheelchair allows you to use stairs where there are no ramps, lifts or other devices, without the help of others.
The idea for a stair-climbing wheelchair came to Ivan Nevzorov, the head of Caterwil, in 2012 when his wheelchair-bound friend complained that it was impossible to get up and down stairs without an attendant.
It was then that the Novosibirsk State Technical University graduate decided that, with the necessary knowledge, he could easily create a wheelchair that would make life easier for people with limited mobility. Ivan and his future wife, Galina, began to turn their idea into reality. They rented a garage where they began to build the first prototype with a minimal set of construction tools: a drill, a bolt cutter, and a welding machine.
The first prototype in 2013 was a platform with caterpillar belts stretched over the wheels, which are also the pulleys for the tracks. The prototype confirmed the ability of a person in a wheelchair to climb stairs independently.
In 2015, Nevzorov produced the first pre-production prototype together with defense industry giant Shvabe JSC. Together, they worked on optimizing the undercarriage and preparing a model that would meet the requirements of serial production. At that time, the products were aimed only at the Russian market; the Caterwil project did not even dream of supplying them abroad.
In 2016, Caterwil rented its first production facility in Novosibirsk and started its own individual production of Caterwil stair-climbing wheelchairs. At that time, the production staff consisted of only 4 people, and due to the lack of necessary equipment, most of the parts were manufactured in other plants in Novosibirsk.
In 2017, the project was recognized in Russia and became a participant of the Skolkovo Foundation. At the same time, the company received its first order from abroad. It was a young girl from India who needed a Caterwil wheelchair to get out of the house on her own.
In 2018, the Caterwil GTS3 stair-climbing wheelchair took part in the international wheelchair race held in Düsseldorf. In the final, the Caterwil pilot beat the American team, proving that the Russian design can easily overcome the most difficult obstacles thanks to simple but ingenious solutions.
By 2019, the geography of Caterwil’s product deliveries has expanded to 20 countries worldwide. The company’s main export destinations are Switzerland, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Baltic States and the Middle East. The reasons for the increase in foreign deliveries were obtained in 2019 certificates of safety of medical products in the EU and Saudi Arabia.
By 2020, Caterwil’s product line already included 10 items. At that time, the company’s range was represented by:
- Rear wheel drive stair climbing models GTS3, GTS4, GTS5
- Four wheel drive 4WD and GTS 4WD models
- GTS5 Lux and GTS 4WD Lux models with more electric seat adjustments
- Lite 40 and Lite 45 lightweight foldable electric wheelchairs
- IDEAL X1 caterpillar stair lift for assisted stair climbing
In addition, the company supplied additional items for power wheelchairs: safety belts, lithium batteries, attendant consoles, side supports, distance mirrors, etc.
In 2021, an agreement was signed with the Swiss company Stratos-Swiss GmbH to jointly develop a line of stair-climbing wheelchairs for the European and American markets. As part of this agreement, almost the entire Caterwil product line was redesigned. The design of the products was given a strict and aggressive look.
Finally, 2022 was the most significant year for the Caterwil project, as the construction of the new 2,000 square meter in-house factory was completed. More than 30 employees from various professions are involved in the production of unique wheelchairs.
To date, the company produces 14 models of wheelchairs, as well as other rehabilitation equipment and necessary accessories for people with disabilities.
Caterwil wheelchairs are manufactured using 85% Russian components, including our own electronics. This is an important factor that makes it possible to implement functionality that is unique in the world. The new state-of-the-art production facility will make it possible to fulfill large state orders, which means that more and more people with disabilities will be provided with independent mobility.
Caterwil stairclimbing wheelchairs have participated in Russian and international competitions, where they have repeatedly achieved excellent results:
- 1st place at the All-Russian Cybathlon Championship in 2017.
- 1st place at the International Cybathlon Experience in 2017 in Düsseldorf
- 1st place at the international Cybathlon Experience in 2018 in Düsseldorf.
- Vice-champion in the 2019 Cybathlon Experience in Tokyo.
- 2nd place in the 2020 Cybathlon World Championships.
- 1st place in the Challenge Cup 2021 in Moscow.