Chariot Innovations, Inc. was founded in November 2014 with the mission to improve people’s lives through motion-based products and technologies. These technologies, beginning with The Saddle, have been, and are being, developed and licensed out of Baylor University. The company name was inspired by the Bible verse 2 Kings 6:17, which refers to God’s provision of “horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha”. The chariot can be seen as a symbol of protection for the vulnerable, and as a mode of lifting people up and carrying them forward.
The concept of Chariot arose from Dr. Brian Garner’s research and realizing how close human walking movement patterns are to those when riding on a horse. When Dr. Garner learned how many people with disabilities and injuries see miraculous benefits from the equine movement he was inspired to find a way to help make this more accessible to those people.
So, he began pursuing development of a mechanical device to accurately reproduce the complex, three-dimensional movement patterns of a walking horse.
The first generation prototype was constructed by a team of Baylor undergraduate engineering students in 2009. Affectionately named “Mr. Ed” by the students, it utilized spherical four-bar mechanisms to produce the motion patterns. Although the prototype worked, the mechanisms proved difficult to construct precisely, and they strained under the weight of a rider.
It took two more prototype generations, lots of work, and the help of several teams of undergraduate and graduate students to ultimately arrive at the current design. The current production design is assembled by the company from standard, off-the-shelf parts, and from custom parts manufactured in the Central Texas region of the United States.
Dr. Brian Garner, Founder
I grew up in Austin, Texas, obtaining degrees in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas in Austin. In 2002 I was blessed with the opportunity to join the engineering faculty at Baylor University to teach and pursue my research interests in Biomechanics. I greatly enjoy working with students at Baylor and teaching courses including Statics, Machine Design, Biomechanics, and the capstone Engineering Design course.
I am also truly blessed with a wonderful wife, Margie, and four wonderful children, Abigail, Anna, Noah, and Daniel. They each amaze me in their own special ways.
Since youth I have prayed that God would develop and use the talents and abilities He gave me to honor Him and to be a blessing to other people. I believe The Saddle and its technology is a gift from Him, and I truly hope it can and will be a great blessing to many people.