Disabled community experiences world’s first hybrid watercraft

Tetradapt is hosting a Media Day at East Canyon State Park on Thursday, July 18 as individuals from Utah’s disabled community will be demoing the Tetra Watercraft, designed and built by the Tetradapt team at the University of Utah Rehabilitation Center (UURC). 

The Tetra Watercraft is the world’s first hybrid watercraft that can be independently sailed or electrically propelled by people with complex spinal cord injury or disease (quadriplegia), including those requiring mechanical ventilation. 

A team led by Tetradapt founder Jeffrey Rosenbluth, spinal cord injury medical director at the UURC, has been developing and testing the Tetra Watercraft since 2015. The device uses both a joystick and mouth-controlled system for independent control of steering, sail management and electric propulsion. The Tetra Watercraft’s innovative technology is similar to that of the Tetradapt TetraSki, which was distributed this past winter to adaptive ski programs across the nation and was featured on NBC’s Today Show in March.

WHO: Members of Utah’s disabled community will demo the Tetradapt Tetra Watercraft.

WHAT: Media is invited to attend the event, film, photograph, and interview participants and the Tetradapt team. Reporters also are encouraged to demo the Tetra Watercraft to experience the innovative technology first-hand and secure great POV images and footage.

WHEN: Anytime between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, July 18 

WHERE: East Canyon Reservoir at East Canyon State Park

NOTE: Media should contact Whitney Childers (whitney.childers@gleemedia.com) if you plan to attend and we will accommodate timing needs and schedule a demo for the reporter/photographer, etc.

Tetra Watercraft at East Canyon Reservoir in Utah.

Tetra Watercraft at East Canyon Reservoir in Utah.


More on how the Tetra Watercraft works…

In addition to the independent control for the person using the Tetra Watercraft, a wireless remote control allows an instructor/caregiver override of the watercraft’s control systems for instruction or emergencies. A computer simulator provides sailing instruction and an option to customize watercraft controls. People with spinal cord injuries have been testing prototypes of the Tetra Watercraft since 2016. What makes the device even more unique is its ease of transportation/set-up, beach deployment, safety, increased passenger capacity, no-wind performance, and remote control override.

Powered Accessible Docking System (PADS)

Powered Accessible Docking System (PADS)

Powered Accessible Docking System (PADS)

The Tetradapt team also has designed, built and deployed a Powered Accessible Docking System (PADS) to maximize independent access to lakes and reservoirs utilized by individuals with complex physical disabilities. With dramatically fluctuating water levels and a need for adaptive watersports programming on different waterways, portability of the dock structure is critical. The PADS is equipped with several amenities to help transfer people with disability from the watercraft.

The PADS is powered (solar/electric) and capable of navigating by water to a beach or dock to serve as an accessible water sports platform. The PADS also can load individuals in their own wheelchairs, as well as family/friends and transport them to new locations.