March 8, 2006 One day about 12 years ago, Tony Pike called in to have a coffee at a friend’s Bondi Trattoria restaurant on Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach. As his friend Ross put the coffee on the table, it tilted slightly on the uneven stonework floor and the coffee spilled. Ross looked up as he was adjusting the table legs with some folded cardboard, and he said to Tony, “whoever solves this table stability problem will become a billionaire - it’s the biggest single problem in hospitality worldwide.” A decade later, after working on the problem on-and-off between other projects, Tony finally solved the problem by developing an innovative, levelling and stabilizing hydraulic system which is now patented as the FLAT (Fluid Locking & Adjustment Technology) system.
FLAT is based upon an interconnected series of hydraulic actuators to provide horizontal support on uneven surfaces and then locks to provide stability at the chosen level or angle the user requires. What was conceived as a table and chair stabilisation system for the hospitality industry appears to have potential for solving problems in many military and aviation situations, with dozens of domestic and industrial applications (see demonstration movies) seeking the system.
For the original problem, restauranters and café owners across the globe will be delighted as the FLAT technology enables the table top to be set level on any surface, even if the surface is sloping and uneven. Whatsmore, the technology has been designed to fit within all existing styles of table, and to do so without substantially increasing the price.
“We haven’t made any solid decisions on what pricing we’ll be going to the OEMs with, but we are aiming at pricing which will enable a table to be sold for a very similar price to existing tables without the system, but with an obvious unique advantage – no more instability,” said Tony.
“The reaction from all who have seen the technology has been extremely positive, and we’re now seeking expressions of interest from licensors, manufacturers and distributors across the globe as we are getting ready to commercialise the technology.”
"At this point in time, our main priority is to partner with the right multinational as the market potentially so large and diverse we are seeking a suitable partner large enough to develop the technology globally. Expressions of interest should be directed via email to Tony Pike.
Several demonstration videos can be viewed at the web site and a technical overview can be found here.
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