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Guest Gaile

Transformable Crutches

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Guest Gaile

Here is my project - transformable crutches. These crutches give users a possibility to switch from forearm to underarm type, are adjustable and foldable when traveling or not in use.

Crutches go together with some accessories - special bags for carrying personal belongings, and/or storing crutches.

 

Please, give your comments.

 

Thank you!

 

Gaile

post-3123-1210264658.jpg

post-3123-1210264680.jpg

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Guest Jay08

mmm i agree...the bag is a bit of a coslty and pointless addition to the range. Hospital staff will not use these bags as it would tae time and effort to use them.

 

The crutch itself is well thought out and looks well considered. Possibly overcomplicated design.

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Guest Gaile

Thanks for comments.

 

The bag is for storing crutches when not in use and/or for carrying stuff (going shopping for examples)

The target groups is short-term users, people who need them during their reabilitation or people who switch from wheelchair to crutches. So they need to store them. Also when traveling (by car, bus or plain).

But the bag is just an extra thing to this project.

 

I hope I answered your questions...

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Guest john_carmichael

Looks good. What material are the under arm rest made from? Also, how would the user access the small bag when he or she is using the crutches.... looks a little out of reach

 

Have you actually made them? If so where did you get hold of the spring buttons used to adjust the height?

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The crutches looks nice. I must admit that I have some doubts regarding the usability of taking them apart. Usually I would say that when using public transportation etc. it would probably be more inconvenient having to take the crutches apart and put them in a bag. I guess it could be a nice feature when transporting them in for instance an ambulance or in planes. I can also see a potential use airports or sport clubs and the like, where there can be a sudden need for crutches.

 

Can you say something about the research in the project. Have you been talking to users, paramedics, physiotherapists etc. about the need for the compactness?

 

Also regarding the multi-purpose of the crutches (both to be used with the forearm and under the shoulder), have you looked at the ergonomic aspect of the different type of crutches? Personally i have only used the forearm type of crutches for a few weeks, but I have noticed that the angle on the handle of the long crutches are different than the forearm ones. Maybe there is a reason for that due to a different use/movement of the crutches (It's not something I know anything about - just a thought)

 

But a nice presentation of the product - you have the element that often is forgotten - the person with the product. It works well.

 

/tbroen

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Guest John Fitzsimmons

Nice idea and presentation, have you actually made these? I would be concerned about the multiple connections adding wobble. Allso it is nice to be able to hang something like this up on the wall, otherwise what do you do with it? On the multiple parts, perhaps color code the connectors and get a mechanically befuddled person to show you how difficult the simplest item can be to some persons to assemble. A good semi-permanent tube connection is to use a taper on both sides, ie a female taper and a male taper , this make a solid non-rotating joint, but can be diffucult to get apart and is non-adjustable in length, vs the tellescoping clicker button arrangment

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Guest benz_id
The crutches looks nice. I must admit that I have some doubts regarding the usability of taking them apart. Usually I would say that when using public transportation etc. it would probably be more inconvenient having to take the crutches apart and put them in a bag. I guess it could be a nice feature when transporting them in for instance an ambulance or in planes. I can also see a potential use airports or sport clubs and the like, where there can be a sudden need for crutches.

 

Can you say something about the research in the project. Have you been talking to users, paramedics, physiotherapists etc. about the need for the compactness?

 

Also regarding the multi-purpose of the crutches (both to be used with the forearm and under the shoulder), have you looked at the ergonomic aspect of the different type of crutches? Personally i have only used the forearm type of crutches for a few weeks, but I have noticed that the angle on the handle of the long crutches are different than the forearm ones. Maybe there is a reason for that due to a different use/movement of the crutches (It's not something I know anything about - just a thought)

 

But a nice presentation of the product - you have the element that often is forgotten - the person with the product. It works well.

 

/tbroen

 

tbroen, nice comment man! seem like we're sharing the same philosophy of the school!

are your school is human centered-design oriented ?

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tbroen, nice comment man! seem like we're sharing the same philosophy of the school!

are your school is human centered-design oriented ?

 

Yes - it is mainly based on user centered design, with engineering aspects. But I would say that User centered design is only one part of it. We have different themes on different semesters - I guess as on many other universities - User centered design is one of those themes - some of the others are, Product Service Systems, Strategic Design, Design Research and Integrated Design. But the user is always considered in some way or another.

 

/tbroen

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Guest Gaile

Thank you all for comments!

 

I will try to answer your questions now :) :

- the material of the cradle and the grip is from foam.

- the access to the small bag: when you are walking with crutches your elbows are bended 30 degrees, so when your arm is straight, you can easily access stuff in the bag ( I tried with mock-up and seems ok).

- I am cooperating with manufacturing company. They have only made a one-peace mock-up to check stability and construction. Next week I will start to work on transformable parts. But according to engineers it has to work fine.

- the disassembly of crutches is meant to be for traveling long distances (ex. by plain, car) or store them when not in use (crutches are for a short-term user)

- it is a lot of research behind the project. I talked a lot with users, physiotherapists, scientists, engineers, biomechanic. From them I found out about such problems as compactness, multi-purpose, special bag, etc.

- I also looked at ergonomic aspects of both - forearm and underarm crutches. There many different solutions made with different angles. My chosen angle suits both - forearm and underarm crutches

- This assembly/adjustability construction is most common to use for crutches.

 

John Fitzsimmons, thanks for your ideas of user-oriented solution. They really sound interesting, I have to look into that.

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Guest benz_id
tbroen, nice comment man! seem like we're sharing the same philosophy of the school!

are your school is human centered-design oriented ?

 

Yes - it is mainly based on user centered design, with engineering aspects. But I would say that User centered design is only one part of it. We have different themes on different semesters - I guess as on many other universities - User centered design is one of those themes - some of the others are, Product Service Systems, Strategic Design, Design Research and Integrated Design. But the user is always considered in some way or another.

 

/tbroen

 

that's what i'm talking about!! glad to see another designer that care more about user than styling a cool form!

 

cheers dude!! :)

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Guest Nova Lyk

I think the idea is great!

One of my friends sits in a wheelchair, but is able to walk around on crutches when he is places with stairs, little room for the chair and so forth.

But the crutches are always in his way when they are strapped to the back of his wheelchair, and he does almost always have them with him, and he did mention to me once that he wished for crutches he could fold together.

 

I know that it wasn't the primary target group, but still someone who would benefit from the idea.

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Guest John Fitzsimmons

since this is the type of thing I work on and your design caught my eye, I have a few other details for you to consider. I was concerned about the wobble in the upper segment that goes under the arm pits but that wobble may be an advantage. perhaps look at allowing limited rotation in that joint, maybe even with a damper effect so it does not feel loose but it does allow the angle between the arm pit and the hand grip to conform to the user. next, on the hand grips, consider the foam carefully to make sure it has the proper conbination of conformability to the hand to spread the load and that it does not allow bottoming out an pressur points that will injure the hand. maybe a layer of stiffer then a layer of softer foam. this can simply be concentic sleeves, if they were two different colors you woud be picking up a decorative detail.

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