Swivel Seat - Easy Seat

Installed under the front passenger seat of a car, this compact mechanism enables the seat to swivel 90 degrees right out through the doorway.

From its inception several years ago the award-winning* Easy Seat, patented and marketed worldwide, was well received, enabling elderly and less able people (and their helpers) much easier access into and out of cars.

A new version, Easy Seat Mark 2 is under development and is now at the prototype stage. It retains the unique, sturdy “round the door-pillar” swivel mechanism, but has been thoroughly revamped – compact, lighter, with height adjustment and lateral shift. But the main improvement is motorisation of all functions - raise, swivel, extend.

Easy Seat development history

It began when Rob Wallace, mechanical design consultant, was engaged to improve an existing automotive swivel seat but soon realized that the design had fundamental shortcomings, so a new approach was needed.

With some lateral thinking, and drawing inspiration from earthmoving machines and pantograph drafting mechanisms, Rob hit upon the solution. Basically it was a compact hinge comprising a stack of sturdy steel plates separated by ball races, controlled by linkages. When substituted for the front passenger seat sub-frame, it enabled the seat to swivel 90 degrees, right out of the car, as if pivoted on the door pillar.

This was a significant breakthrough, a prototype was built and tested, patent application was lodged, and manufacture began. As soon as it was released Easy Seat was well received by the market, was short listed for the annual BHP Awards, Australia, and went on to win a Gold Medal, at the 22nd Salon International des Inventions, Switzerland.

Although it was not his intention to be involved in the manufacturing and marketing of the product, withdrawal of the clients meant that Rob had to go it alone. Fortunately, Easy Seat became a successful business with strong sales throughout Australia, and exports to Europe. In USA a manufacture under licence agreement was negotiated.

Eventually the business was taken over by another firm as Rob was too busy managing his bridge design and construction company Waldren Bridges Pty Ltd.

Nevertheless, following continued interest in the product, Rob has been working an improved motorised model, Easy Seat Mk 2, and is now at the prototype stage.

*BHP Awards, Australia; Gold Medal, 22nd Salon International des Inventions, Switzerland.