how can we improve the walker?

 First-round prototypes, C. Jessey, RISD

First-round prototypes, C. Jessey, RISD

 
 

It all started when…

Six months ago, while trying to get up from her chair, my grandmother slipped and fell, fracturing her hip.

She hasn't left our apartment since then, except for hospital visits. She can't stand up on her own. The only way for her to move around the apartment is with her walker in front of her and someone behind her to help keep her upright and ensure the walker doesn't slip.

In today's age of technological advancement, it is morally impermissible and downright baffling that better elderly mobility solutions do not exist. 

Current problems with the walker:

  1. In trying to solve one problem, walkers create a whole set of new ones, one of the biggest being poor posture from hunching over and putting all of one's weight on the device
  2. Poor psychology - studies have shown dramatically reduced happiness and quality of life for those dependent on mobility devices
  3. Believe it or not, walkers are structurally unsound. It's frighteningly easy to slip and fall again, even while using a walker. NIH studies show that my grandmother is just as likely to slip and fall with her walker, as she is walking unaided. 

The fundamental purpose of the walker is to facilitate and increase mobility for those with mobility restrictions.

The Breeze Walker provides the user with a biomechanically supportive system customizable to their individual needs, while also offering the incentive to MOVE, thanks to voice-activation, virtual companionship and elegant design.

So much of our happiness, dignity and wellbeing is rooted in agency, freedom and choice. The Breeze Walker aims to give the elderly exactly that. 

Project done in Innovation Dojo class of Spring 2018.