Uppie - Independent Living
Domestic Bathroom Aid
When ageing various conditions and the lack of physical activity limit physical ability of elders. This often leads to deterioration of muscle mass and strength, resulting in the inability to stand up or squad backwards steadily.
Europe's population is becoming older on average, creating a need for domestic aids in oder to promote independent living.
Solutions exists but unfortunately they come with a certain stigma attached, a sizeable price tag and are too big for European bathrooms.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Uppie, a space efficient, cost effective and modern stand-up help, designed for elderly people. The Frame is adjustable, fits onto any toilet bowl and the lift uses state of the art technology.
Elders are often confronted with the fear of falls especially when by themselves, as they are the cause of many bone fractures and subsequent deaths.
Uppie is designed to give a sense of security and independence when visiting the bathroom, so elderly and their relatives have more peace of mind.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The Lift is operated by two buttons, integrated into the handle bars.
1. Bring Lift into upright position.
2. Place yourself between the grab handle bars (facing away for toilet).
3. Lean backwards, so your thighs and buttocks gently rest on seat and blue cushion (while keeping handle bars gripped).
4. Press button (on handle bar) to activate mechanism.
5. Wait until motion is complete.
6. Reverse process for standing up.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The Project started April 2015 in Delft/ The Hague and was finalised in January 2016. The prototyping iterations are still ongoing.
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
All structural parts are made from aluminium (with a few exceptions made from steel - only prototype), whereas all rails are stainless steel.
Visual covers were vacuum formed and rubber gaskets used to dampen the connection between product and toilet bowl.
Ordered components include: ball screws, linear bearings, rotary deep groove ball bearings, angular contact ball bearings, stepper motors, motor controls, micro controller (Arduino, TinkerKit), buttons and bamboo toilet seat/ cover.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
370 x 500 x 700 (at base, keeping in mind that it is adjustable to differently sized bowls)
600 x 500 x 700 (at height of grab handle bars)
Domestic Bathroom Aid, Independent Living, Ageing Population, Active Healthcare, Elderly Living, Secure Toileting, Retrofit, Space Efficiency, Safety, Physical Limitation
The research set up investigated the perceived image of aiding products. Aim was to elevate this niece market from its taboo status to a more satisfactory level for users and companies.
Quantitative and qualitative research was previously conducted, revised and validated which required to set up a research that does not focus on the basic problem, that existing solutions are nurturing. Instead added value-propositions for the user were explored by interviewing users, retailers and experts.
The most difficult aspects of this project consisted of generating a non-stigmatised design language, while providing a suitable mechanism that is space efficient and retrofittable to ensure European bathroom integration. At the same time measures for lower component, material and manufacturing cost had to be considered.
Balancing the perceived value and effectiveness of the concept against constrains set by the client and environment of use, was a challenge to be embraced.
TEAM MEMBERS (2) :
Individual Project development, created for Michiel Lensink (client) and Based on preliminary research by Johan Molenbroek.
All images, photos and videos are created by JSvA or is publicly available material.
Copyrights belong to The Hague University of Applied Sciences, 2015