In conjunction with Signal Centers of Chattanooga, a walker was needed to help Aiden with his left-side weakness. Aiden is a three-year-old child with cerebral palsy, leukemia, and epilepsy.
The design team’s goal was to design a walker that could fold up for easy transportation, support Aiden in walking, prevent Aiden from veering sideways, and convert to a stroller.
Walkers assist people with disabilities by increasing their mobility via support. Many disabled people are not capable of supporting themselves through normal bipedal operations. Walkers provide additional support while remaining easily mobile, enabling users to navigate their environment safely and efficiently.
Aiden’s previous walker was too big for him, did not fold easily, and was relatively heavy. It did not convert to a stroller to allow Aiden to rest. When Aiden walked, the walker did not prevent him from veering sideways. The walkers on the market were too expensive and did not meet his needs.
After research, brainstorming, and input from an advisor and Aiden’s family, the team developed the final walker design. A prototype was made and tested with Aiden to dimension the final walker design properly. The dimensions of the final walker were: Armrest-Armrest = 15 ¼”, Floor-Armrest = 24 ½”, and Floor-Seat = 15″. The final walker was able to fold into a space of 38″ x 19″ x 13″. The final walker design for this project is made of furniture-grade PVC. The walker can be converted into a stroller. The final walker features a seat that will lower by Aiden just backing up to it and sitting. This allows for Aiden to be pushed around when he would like to rest. The seat is double-sided so that when the seat is in the up position, it creates a back support. Another aspect of the walker is a braking system that is used to help with Aiden’s left-side weakness. A variable resistance break can be adjusted at the wheel, which keeps Aiden from drifting to the right. Not only does this walker help with Aiden’s disabilities, but it is also easy to collapse and very light to lift when put into the car.
The walker was designed for use in a safe indoor environment, such as at home or school. The walker is entered through the front. The user turns around and places forearms on armpads and hands on grips. The front wheels of the walker swivel freely to steer, and the rear wheels are fixed with adjustable resistance. The walker height is adjusted using a screwdriver; screws in the legs allow different heights to be selected. The walker folds up in a “scissor” motion; the front wheels are free to move to the back wheels. The armrests fold inward to reduce the size of the folded walker. While in stroller mode, foot-pegs can be rotated, and the seat can be pushed down from its normal upright position. Handles also fold out for an assistant to push the stroller.