Flowers reinvents himself

Thursday, April 28, 2011

SEWELL, N.J. - As soon as Michael Flowers closed the door on one company, he opened the door on another.

On April 4, Flowers simultaneously began winding down operations at Electric Mobility and began ramping up operations at Active Controls. Through his new company, Flowers plans to sell licenses to the technology that his Rascal scooters are known for, like stabilizer wheels, to other manufacturers.

"I have 100,000 hours logged in developing products," Flowers said. "Because we're no longer competitors to other manufacturers, we're going to offer them our technology."

The magnetic stabilizer technology with self-centering magnetic caster wheels helps to prevent users from tipping over in three-wheeled scooters.

In addition to selling licenses to its existing technology, Active Controls plans to develop new technology. Already in the pipeline: a hand control for power wheelchairs that mimics the positioning of a hand control for a scooter.

"Would you drive a car with a joystick?" Flowers said. "Of course not; it's dangerous. This control sits in the front of an electric wheelchair--it drops into a socket in the front of the seat. We have another version that has a lift-up arm, so it comes off the side of the arm rest and sits in front of the seat."

Flowers is also working behind the scenes to get a code for stabilizer wheels from Medicare.

"This technology saves them the expense of paying ER visits," Flowers said. "There are 25,000 ER visits a year where people come to the hospital to be treated for injuries directly related to scooters tipping over sideways. That's a strong incentive for them to pay a little extra for manufacturers and dealers who put stabilizer wheels on their scooters."

Flowers debuted Active Controls at Medtrade Spring in April.

"Manufacturers expressed interest," he said.