MOBILE SPELUNKING
SYSTEMS INC.

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A SHORT HISTORY

 Although Mobile Spelunking Systems was incorporated as a Canadian company in December, 2002 its actual beginnings began much earlier than that.

 The first Mobile Spelunking System was built in the spring of 2000.  This plywood prototype became a contributing part of Carberry Bible Camp’s summer program in July of that year.  The inventor of Mobile Spelunking Systems is George C. Roy.  Mr. Roy was granted a US patent (US 6,575,462,B2) for his “Maze Structure” on June 10, 2003.

 The whole idea began some time in the late 1990’s from a challenge to be creative and out of a desire to build a better maze toy.  The toy presented to Mr. Roy was a school woodworking shop class project, a primitive puzzle made from a short piece of two-by-four.  The result of the challenge was a  balsa wood cube made in four levels.  These levels were all interchangeable thereby making one long tunnel, and 491 mazes, some impossible, some tremendously difficult.

 Almost immediately the next thought that presented itself was “what would this be like if it were large enough for people to climb through?”  Designs were drafted and revised.  Then, in the winter of 1999-2000, some camps in Southern Manitoba were presented with an offer - having a three dimensional mobile maze system for the cost of material.  When Carberry Bible Camp accepted the offer, work was begun.

 The first Mobile Spelunking System prototype was built of wood - plywood joined together with glue and brass screws.  Because of the usual dimensions of plywood, it became an 8’ cube.  A grid system had already been developed for the hand held toy maze so this system and ‘floor plan’ were utilized for the full scale model.  Even before the painting began, children and young adults were trying it out.  It was a hit.  In June, the very bright, diagonally painted Green, Red, Orange and Yellow cube left for Carberry on a snow mobile trailer and in a pick up truck.

 What followed immediately after this was a time of research and development.  Who would be interested and how much would they be willing to pay?  What would the best materials be?  Where would the material come from?  Potential materials were researched and suppliers were sought.  Potential users join us in focus groups.  Experts in various fields were consulted.  A business plan was drawn up.  Various processes were appraised.

 Finally, in August, 2002 all the pieces fell into place. The decision was made to use polyethylene as the major A local Manitoba company, Heartland Agrivent would make the moulds and rotationally mould the pieces.

 Design specifications demanded standards higher than those of the Canadian Standards Association, as found in their publication “Children’s Playspaces and Equipment” (CAN/CSA-Z614-98).

 After mould redesign and fine tuning, piece modification and design changes, the second Mobile Spelunking System prototype rolled off the assembly line in December, 2002.  This brightly coloured 8' cube had levels of Green, Red, Orange and Yellow.  It weighed about 800 pounds, considerably less than the wooden prototype.  The translucent characteristic of the material gave the interior of the system more light.  Because it weighed less, it took only one person to move the System into most of its configurations.

 The System was ‘unveiled’ at a New Year’s Eve evening at Albright Church, December 31, 2002 and again was a hit.  It was also during this evening that the idea grew yet again.

 During an intermission in the program, while some levels of the System were stood on their sides, children began playing in them!  They climbed and hung out and just had fun even though it wasn’t the long, long tunnel or a maze.  During the next 14 months the System was taken to approximately 20 locations including schools, a fair, a trade show and churches for more research.  It became a major focus of attention and centre of fun and adventure. 

 The uses for which it was being used mushroomed.  Exercise, including stretching and muscle development, eye-hand coordination, spatial awareness, team building and even leadership development and mathematics were discouvered.

 Records were being established.  A teacher at one school thought he had a star performer to negotiate the 130 feet of twists and turns, ups and downs.  He did.  Nine year old Ryan Burky established a World Record of 41.88 seconds!  General Byng  had 130 students go through the tunnel in 15 minutes and a Maples Collegiate student, Chris Bennet, at 6 feet 3 inches, 270 pounds, became the biggest person through.  A senior of 71 years tried it out; a 18 month old toddler made it all the way through. The System had obvious broad appeal and broad application.

Marketing began shortly after this time.  The first sale of a Mobile Spelunking System was to the University of Manitoba Children's Programs, the proud and satisfied customers of a Series 400 model.

 It’s Mobile;  it can go anywhere.  It’s a System;  it can suit anyone.
It’s Spelunking;  tons of fun and a whole lot more.

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