Thursday, June 08, 2006

Rocking Crutch

This concept adapts a curved sole to produce a rocking movement when used. More surface contacts the ground to increase stability and grip. The curve also eases the task of going up and down stairs. Another major feature is the X-shaped underarm support designed to increase stiffness. The "Rocking Crutch" was designed with the image of modern sports equipment; to suggest it as a tool to enhance human physical ability. This is to break away from the stereotype impression that people with disabilities are lesser than abled people.

Comments welcomed: especially from crutch users.

Project done in collaboration with Tham Ming Yoong (Bachelor of Engineering- University of Birmingham)


Don Chan said...

Cool design. I like the funky curves with suggests an contemporary link and the bright colors (which departs from the norm and boring). The curvature foot is a marvelous idea. Be sure to have some anti-slip treading of the bottom for wet surfaces.

I have some suggestions for further modification.

1. Hand grip. An ergonomic design with finger grooves is needed. Preferably with gel inserts for max comfort.

2. Adjustable height. Cructhes need to be height-adjustable for differing height of users.

3. Materials to work with. Most crutches are temporary. As such, cost cannot be too prohibitive. That rules out light-weight material like carbon, and exotic metals like magnesium and titanium. Perhaps aluminium combined with molded fibreglass or other materials.

Hope this helps.

Cheers and keep up the good work.

Wai Lam said...

The height is adjustable, I even added markers (like on the LOOK seatpost)
for accurate height adjustment.
The Hand Grip with Gel insert is a cool idea!

Thank you very much for the useful comments!

+Wai Lam.

Along Lee said...

Yes, wow... really great jobs. Well done. Here're some comments:
1. I think the styles & outlooks will be more perfect if the "flow-line" design features at the bars can be more balance & stylish. Or I am wrong that this is design in purpose?
2. I would love to see you proceed further with a functional mock up studies & refine it to a feasible design & end of the day... into the commercial!! Wish you all the best!!

Tim said...

I'd sent you an email with this info,,, but after viewing more of your pages and philosophy, I figure you'd want it in the open community.

Very intriguing. As an above knee amputee, I like the underarm style.

I think the determination of underarm/forearm style is a complex set
of factors including arm strength, ribcage strength, and experience.
In my experience, underarms work well if there is sufficient arm
strength to keep the pads off the armpit and grip the cructh top to
the ribcage.

Not sure how the curved surfaces would work on stairs, especially
those with short treads. In just looking at the initial pictures, I
would be nerveous about using them on stairs.

I'd be interested in testing them, if you do make a set of underarms.

Materials on the hand grip and underarm area would be important. if
too slippery it will slip on some shirt/sport coat fabrics, but if too
grippy it will shred them in a very short time.

Also, easily replacable, 'stickly'/gripping, secure material for the
bottom of the foot will be important too.

Other considerations for the foot include traction options for ice
and, one of the worst - wet, polished marble.

As I noted above, I'd be interested in testing them for you, or
discussing other design aspects. I've been an "AK" for over 20 years
and don't use a prosthetic, so I am on crutches all day, every day.

- Tim

p.s. Based on the initial design graphics that are shown in the
FastCompany article, I prefer the two-sided one for the underarm.
There is a very different mechanic associated with mono-pole

Anonymous said...

Hi, I was wondering whether the rocking crutch would be made in a forearm style. I just saw your crutch and loved it. My name is Katherine.

sharon( said...

Will these be on the market anytime soon!? my dad has been on crutches since he was 2... the science behind these crutches sound amazing. there would be less shock then just plain old tips. Would it be available in more "older person" friendly colors?

Anonymous said...

This is a cool design but how expensive is it going to be?