To Unika, it is important to act in a socially responsible manner. Therefore, it was quite natural to invest DKK 120,000 in a newly developed Segway for Peder K. Friborg, a robotics programmer at Unika, who suffers from sclerosis.
Managing Director, Bo Johansen, explains: ”We have always been very happy with Peder, and it was vital to us to help when his illness increased and threatened Peder’s ability to work. In reality, the chair should have been granted by the municipality, but as we were looking at up to half a year’s casework time, we decided to pay for it ourselves.”
My social life is my work
Peder K. Friborg is 46 years old, married and the father of two children aged 6 and 9. Since December 2012, he has been an employee at Unika. ”In 2014, it was obvious that I could not continue working unless I got assistive technology to get around. I could no longer walk around by myself, and that meant that I might be forced to apply for employment and support allowance. Quite a gloomy prospect, as I love what I do. So when the opportunity to get the Segway ”Genny” presented itself, I was so happy and grateful. My entire social life is at Unika, and it would be very hard to so without it. Now, I can get everywhere by myself, both indoor and outside. The only thing I cannot conquer is stairs, so I avoid those. Nor do I have to worry that the segway tips over because it just doesn’t. It is absolutely amazing”, says Peder.
”Genny” the Segway
Genny the Segway is a new electric vehicle in Denmark. It is operated by bodyweight. When a person leans forward, it moves forward, and if the person leans forward further, it drives faster. It can go as fast as 20 km/h. If the person leans back, it goes backwards, and it can do a 360 turn around its own axis. The control is used to turn right and left. Genny weighs approx. 80 kilos and is very robust. It can get over thresholds, curbs, grass and gravel, and it takes up less space than an ordinary wheelchair. This means that it can get around in places that a normal wheelchair cannot, and at Unika that is important to Peder.
Peder has become a role model to others. After Peder demonstrated the segway at Give Hospital, a boy with muscular dystrophy got the chair on a municipal grant. It has completely changed the boy’s life.