Gait Analysis Walker to collect data and help correcting elderly people abnormal gait postures.
My thesis is to design for elderly people, understand their needs and to think of new technology application for elderly care products. Finally I have chosen (ELMO) ("Elderly and Mobility) as my research topic because I see a lot of elderly people with different levels of walking difficulties.
OBSERVE & DISCOVER
Initially I though walking slow was normal to aging people as their body conditions change by aging, but soon I discovered that many elderly people aslo had difficulties of speed and balance. Also from research I understood that abnormal gaits of elderly people can be caused by diseases rather than simply aging. So I was worried that many people, especially elderly people, thought the same as I firstly thought and ignored the importance of the alert from abnormal gaits.
InTERVIEWS AND FOCUS GROUP
I had more information for the needs and expectations from elderly people' feedback. From the result I found more insights to design for the next step.
From the medical research I understood that how abnormal gaits are related to hidden diseases. I was surprised that the gait data can be so useful to analysis the body condition. It should be more easily evaluated for elderly people for them to trace their body conditions.
Not many elderly people do regular gait checking because it needs specialised physical therapists to do the test and requireds space for assessment.
Elmo contains 3 sets of sensor measure the walking gaits from front view, side view and back view. Together with an adjustable handle bar, it can prevent elderly people from a humpback issue while long term usage. Elmo also comes with a collapsible seat for elderly to rest when they are tired. A heart rate dector can help to record theit health conditions while walking. Last but not least, LED lights and arm rests can help elderly people using elmo most safely and comfortable.