Back in October we headed over to Germany to explore what felt like the largest trade fair for walking aids in the universe; for us it was market research paradise. There were some funky colours and patterns on show but in general the walking aid market was begging for some deeper innovation. On return from this trip we filled our workshop with every imaginable type of walking aid and then disassembled and dissected all of their components to gain a good understanding of the various manufacturing processes involved. That same workshop was then filled with engineers and design thinkers along with records of feedback from our walking aid users, which enabled us to reduce the number of parts in the final design and lower the manufacturing costs.
We’ve been determined to give this range of walking aids a unique character and remove the stigma associated with existing grey disability products, and I’m pleased to say that with a little visual guidance from designers at MAP and Sugru we have done just that. Several useful and innovative features have been designed into the range and we are ready to get making version 3 of the test model to collect more feedback from physiotherapists. Our final design is in the process of being structurally analysed by a fantastic engineer from Major Engineering and we will be ready to make the final pre-prototype in a few weeks time. Getting to this stage of the project has been a massive learning curve and we’ve overcome countless obstacles and challenges along the way. In the next few weeks we will be stocking up on components and materials in preparation for reaching the next big milestone.