F1 technology used to create hi-tech ‘Babypod’
Formula One technology which protects drivers in the event of high-speed crashes has been applied by the Williams Group to help create a safer way of transporting babies in emergencies.
Designed alongside Advanced Healthcare Technology (AHT), the 'Babypod 20' is an incubator which has been created by the advanced engineering branch of the Williams Group.
Made from carbon-fibre, the Babypod 20 incubator is claimed to be able to withstand up to a 20 G-force crash. The product has also been developed and designed in the F1 team's high-tech facility in Grove, Oxfordshire.
The carrier is now being used in intensive care ambulances at the specialist children's hospital Great Ormond Street, which also advised on the design's requirements.
Craig Wilson, managing director of Williams Advanced Engineering has said: "We have created a device that is not only more compact and user friendly, but crucially, can be scaled up in its production so that more hospitals can benefit from this Formula One-inspired technology".
AHT approached Williams in 2015 to design a new variant of its Babypod, utilising F1-inspired design to reduce the weight and improve the crash test results of the Babypod. The device is also now far more accessible for hospital staff to use.
The product will replace the ageing and cumbersome incubators which are used currently in hospitals. Current incubators also have to have a continuous electricity supply and can only travel in certain vehicles.
Mark Lait, design director at AHT said: "We are particularly pleased to have the opportunity to work with the designers and engineers at Williams, and to harness their knowledge and skills to make this new model available".
Each Babypod is set to cost around £5,000, which is actually more cost effective than a traditional incubator because it can travel in any normal car or ambulance.
By Ted Welford