A machine that symbolizes the partnership between F1 and wheelchairs “RDS WF01TR AT01”
RDS Corporation (Representative: Anri Sugihara, after this referred to as RDS) and Scuderia AlphaTauri (Commercial Director: Fabian Wrabetz) are pleased to announce the Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda AT02 color version of the RDS WF01TR wheelchair racer developed with wheelchair track athlete Tomoya Ito as the test driver. This machine symbolizes the partnership between the two companies based on the keywords of design, data, and technology.
■ Design, data, and technology, our daily lives created from the world’s fastest stage
The design of the “RDS WF01TR AT01” is the result of a collaboration between the wheelchair racer “RDS WF01TR” and the F1 car “AT02”. Why would a wheelchair racer and an F1 Team collaborate? Both F1 and wheelchair athletics are platforms where the fastest athletes compete and are also places where the most advanced technologies are developed to find marginal gains. The technology developed there is incorporated into our daily lives in various ways, creating a new way of life. In addition, both F1 cars and wheelchair racers can achieve high performance by optimizing the relationship between humans and machines.
RDS provided the machine design, and Scuderia AlphaTauri was in charge of the livery design. The partnership between RDS and Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda is based on the common concept of “creating a new everyday life through design, data, and technology”. The RDS WF01TR AT01 is a machine symbolizing this concept.
■ “RDS WF01TR”, a wheelchair racer personalized based on body data
“RDS WF01TR” is a wheelchair racer designed and developed to maximize an athlete’s ability and improve their performance in competition. Tomoya Ito, a wheelchair track and field athlete, was invited to be the test driver for the development of the machine. In addition to testing the machine on the track, he conducted a series of motion analysis using motion capture to “quantify the sensation” of the machine’s movement, form during driving, and the balance of force distribution.
During the development process, it became clear that the seating position of a wheelchair has a significant impact on a person’s ability. For this reason, we developed the RDS SS01*, a simulator that provides the optimal solution for seating positions and contributes to solving social issues such as medical disparities and mobility disadvantages. Personalizing the machine, such as generating the optimal seating and backrest positions for the athlete, brings out the best performance. The design, focused on short distance racing, is ultra-light, highly rigid, and highly accelerated, with improved body hold and stability during cornering.
A measurement system to calculate the optimal seating position, developed with the cooperation of “fuRo”, the Future Robotics Research Center of Chiba Institute of Technology, a group of robotics specialists. Currently, basic testing for people with cervical spinal cord injuries has begun at the National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities (Laboratory of Neuromuscular Dysfunction, Department of Motor Function Disorders).
■ Comment from Fabian Wrabetz, Scuderia AlphaTauri F1 Team Commercial Director
DS and Scuderia AlphaTauri are strongly connected through a long-term partnership. Anri is a loyal supporter of our Team and a person with incredible visions and ideas. When he told us about this impressive project with Tomoya Ito we were immediately excited and honored to be able to support this journey.
Like in Formula 1, the way to success in wheelchair racing is the ultimate symbiosis between the human athlete and his machine. which is developed with cutting-edge technology. Our Team clearly has a very close connection to Japan and therefore it felt even more special to support a Japanese athlete to compete in the Paralympics in his own country.
The design team in our F1 Factory in Faenza, Italy has invested a lot of effort into this project in order to find the perfect design. The entire Scuderia AlphaTauri is proud to be part of this endeavor and is looking forward to seeing the RDS WF01TR competing in a few weeks’ time.
■ Comment from Anri Sugihara, CEO of RDS Corporation
We are very pleased to announce the release of the “RDS WF01TR AT01”, a product born from the collaboration between Scuderia AlphaTauri and RDS.
This “RDS WF01TR AT01” is a special product for Team RDS. In 2017, we started a project to develop a wheelchair racer to win a medal, with the then retired wheelchair track and field athlete Tomoya Ito as our test driver. Just as F1 cars are developed based on a vast amount of data from numerous tests, “RDS WF01TR” is a personalized machine based on a variety of data, quantifying the characteristics and sensations of the racer.
However, the ultimate goal of this project is not a medal but to incorporate the technology created in the pursuit of the fastest in our daily lives, such as in medical care and welfare. This idea is the basis of the partnership between Scuderia Alpha Tauri and RDS, and the wheelchair racer with the same color scheme as the F1 car is a product that symbolizes this message.
We hope to continue to introduce new technologies and messages through our partnership with Scuderia Alpha Tauri. Please expect the best from us.
■ About RDS Corporation
RDS is a design tech company that introduces new forms of design and manufacturing to the world under the concept of “making today’s ideas the normal of the future”. With a team of experts in a variety of fields and an in-house factory equipped with the latest equipment, RDS’s greatest strength is its ability to turn ideas into prototypes immediately, and with design, data, and technology as keywords, RDS has been involved in the development of numerous products for motorsports, medicine, welfare, and cutting-edge robotics. From 2019, RDS has entered into a partnership with the F1 team Scuderia Alpha Tauri Honda and aims to realize a borderless future by incorporating advanced technologies created on the highest stage, such as F1 and Paralympic-sports, into everyday life.