In the UK there are around 4.3 million walking aid users and many will require more than one aid as their condition changes. The Evolvable Walking Aid is a modular range of parts which can be assembled to form a walking stick, crutches, a walking frame, or variations of these aids. It saves user from having to buy a whole new walking aid when their mobility condition changes.
The range of parts can be assembled to make different types of walking aid to offer different levels of support, depending on what the user’s needs. The locking mechanism is the same as typical walking aids which makes it easy to learn how to assemble. It’s a bit like a Lego® walking aid kit in that sense.
The first version of the Evolvable walking aid kit has been designed with continuous input from Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists to ensure it can be easily used by community-based carers and therapists as an assessment tool on home visits. Once patients know how to use the kit correctly they will be able to buy new parts and accessories themselves, from an online platform. The Evolvable walking aid is available in a variety of colours and styles to give walking aid users more choice and control, instead of having to put up with a standard grey product.
The Evolvable walking aid has been recognised by multiple design awards including the Inclusive Technology Prize, MedTech South East and the Institute of Engineering Designers. Research behind the design was awarded at Cambridge University’s CWUAAT and published in the 2016 book ‘Designing Around People’.