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Award winning personal mobility device.
Low Impact Tires
RESEARCH and DESIGN
Wearing mobility impairment devices, I tested traditional walkers in order to simulate an elderly person's experience.
I conducted a focus group at the local senior center to learn about their challenges with mobility devices.
I built more than ten mock-ups with foam core, PVC pipe, and other materials to quickly explore a range of ergonomics.
Traditional walkers force users to hunch their back in order to support themselves and balance. As a result, users suffer from back and neck pain. Additionally, the handles on traditional rollators are placed in a non-ergonomic direction, creating wrist strain that exacerbates arthritis.
I use thumbnail sketches to develop overall forms quickly. Next, I create some basic perspective sketches, before selecting a few to explore in CAD. When the overall form is developed, I'll use thumbnail sketching to develop and explore various details.
Strada is an upright mobility device. The armrests encourage better posture and help the user achieve stability. The hand-grips are placed in a more ergonomic position which alleviates wrist strain. Strada's sleek appearance gives users a sense of dignity. It also allows a more natural gait whether indoors or out. I built numerous prototypes and models to verify that Strada was truly ergonomic.
The seated position on a walker is very important, since elderly people need to take breaks often. Strada has a stretched mesh seat that reduces back pain by spreading pressure away from the spine. The stretched mesh also reduces the "visual weight" of the device. The unique seat brackets are key to allowing the seat to fold out of the way when walking and come forward when Strada is in the seated position. Strada's armrests can be lowered to provide armrests while seated.
I built a full scale model of Strada, using a desktop 3D printer, in order to validate the scale and ergonomics of the design. Upright walkers are usually large and bulky, so visual as well as physical weight was at the core of every decision. The seat uses unique brackets to fold away from the user and a mesh seat reduces visual weight and back-pain by distributing weight away from one's spine. The open area at the base of the frame allows the user to take full strides.
Strada was awarded a utility patent by the United States Patent office with the number: 10639226.
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