Path: Robotic Smart Walker Robotic Smart Walker by Lee Althen

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DESIGN DETAILS
DESIGN NAME:
Path: Robotic Smart Walker

PRIMARY FUNCTION:
Robotic Smart Walker

INSPIRATION:
The modern, clean design styling was inspired by simple geometric shapes. The body was built from a ball, and sculpted by removing elements. The inspiration was for the product itself was drawn from my experience with with elderly family members. The product seeks to eliminate the loss of autonomy and decrease in quality of life as a person enters old age. Research was done with members of Rehab and Surgical units of 3 different hospitals across North America.

UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The walker is balanced via a gyroscope which acts as a virtual counterweight, removing the need for rear supports. There is tiered storage beneath the seat for personal items, and near the base is a large storage area for larger medical equipment like oxygen tanks. The system can be summoned with voice commands. A tablet attaches to the handles to act as and interface and controller, allowing for tracking and adjustments. The handles adjust up and down to ensure proper height.

OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The product can be autonomous, and summoned to the user by voice. Once it has a arrived at a seated user, the shape of the handles allow the user to use their own strength to rise to standing, while remaining stable and safe. A haptic vibration in the grips lets the user know that the walker is aware of their presence, giving an additional feeling of security. A tablet is used as the interface and controller on the device. Sensors search for potential tripping hazards and monitor the user's gait and track exercise.

PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project was conceived June 2016 in San Francisco and completed August 2016.

FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Scientific Instruments, Medical Devices and Research Equipment Design

PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The product is to be made of a welded steel frame with a thermoformed plastic shell. Motors with worm gears are used to adjust the height, and prevent back driving under load. Mecanum wheels are used to allow for omni directional travel. The project started by examining current walkers, and questioning how an injection of technology could improve both the product and the user's life. Mock-ups were made from the dimensions of current walkers, iterating to find proper dimensions and sizes.

SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
610 mm x 1110 mm x 850 mm

TAGS:
walker, robot, rehabilitation, elderly, senior, smart

RESEARCH ABSTRACT:
Research was conducted via survey. The goal was to determine suitability of design concept, as well as gain insight into the needs of users. A 12 question long answer survey was distributed to 1 nurse, 3 physiotherapists and 1 occupational therapist. Their responses were collected and analyzed, and tailored follow-up surveys were distributed where needed. The results gave me new insights into user needs, as well as entirely new target market that was not originally addressed. This research allowed me to build in new features, address problems previously undiscovered, and generate a strong business case.

CHALLENGE:
The creative challenge was to make a form that was modern and friendly, while being safe, stable, lightweight and beautiful. It has to show the functionality and touch points almost immediately, based on the nature of the product. Other challenges were creating a system to function in both nursing homes and hospitals, with a variety of users and factors affecting them.

ADDED DATE:
2016-09-28 02:33:05

TEAM MEMBERS (1) :


IMAGE CREDITS:
Lee Althen, 2016.

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CLIENT/STUDIO/BRAND DETAILS
NAME:
Academy of Art University

PROFILE:
This project was designed as part of a robotics focused 7 week summer class. It was developed in a classroom atmosphere with input from all students and instructors.

NOMINATION DETAILS

Path: Robotic Smart Walker Robotic Smart Walker by Lee Althen is a Nominee in Scientific Instruments, Medical Devices and Research Equipment Design Category.

· This project is currently confidential as results have not been announced yet. Images and further details of the project is not available for public yet, please check back later. If you are the owner of this design, please login to view the images.

· The profile and other works by Lee Althen is also kept secret. This information will also be available later.
AWARD DETAILS

Path: Robotic Smart Walker Robotic Smart Walker by Lee Althen is Runner-up for A' Design Award in Scientific Instruments, Medical Devices and Research Equipment Design Category, 2016 - 2017.



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