PLINTH

 MODULAR WALKING CANE FOR USE AFTER SURGICAL PROCEDURES

 SPRING 2019  / 10 WEEKS 

TEAM: INDIVIDUAL

Falling is the leading cause of injury-related deaths for the elderly in the USA. 
Surgical procedures are one of the causes as the patient is temporarily healing. 

 

How do we redesign the walking stick for assisted recovery after surgical procedures?

MARKET ANALYSES-

To identify opportunity areas

Walking aids present in the current market were categorized based on sustainability, affordability, stability, and sturdiness. In doing so, the following opportunities presented themselves -

  • Absence of products which helped with posture, which eases recovery.

  • Good and easy-to-use products which are actually affordable.

  • Too many parts which caused complications with assembly.

INITIAL IDEATION

To minimise complications & reduce impact on shoulder joints

Handle

Foot

PROTOTYPING AND TESTING

The first few prototypes were made with readily available materials.

This was replicated to create a wooden model. The handle was modified to a simpler variation as shown. The dampening mechanism was made with cork and spring. 

USER INSIGHT

"I don't use a cane normally, but after my surgery, I have to use the one provided by the hospital. It's only for a short amount of time. I  use this large one for the first few weeks, and then the normal one. It's only a matter of 4-6 weeks before I don't use it anymore."

Chris Turner, 78

Based on this feedback, modular elements were added to reduce dependence on multiple walking sticks.

FINAL IDEATION

Focused on ease of use 

For patients who would not be dependent on canes, providing a modular recovery alternative than using multiple canes is more feasible.

PROTOTYPING AND TESTING

Testing with wooden prototype and creating a works-like model for final design changes.

FINAL CONCEPT