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Dr. K’s Canes

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Student Designer: Harpreet K. Sangha (Stanford University)


Abstract

When bottom member is locked, the height of the canes is significant reduced
When bottom member is locked, the height of the canes is significant reduced

Dr. K, age 86, currently uses a four-wheeled walker, when walking and standing, to improve balance and stability. Though content with how well his walker performs, Dr. K is not impressed with its size and weight, and he desires a lightweight, compact substitute for his walker that is convenient to transport and store. Team Quadruped sought to improve an initial prototype (see below) by creating an adjustable angle between the forearm segment and the bottom member, forming better rests for and connections to Dr. K’s forearms, and allowing for varying height of the bottom member.

Different designs were considered for each feature and design feedback was solicited from mechanical engineer Doug Schwandt and occupational therapist (OT) Deborah T. Kenney. Ultimately, the team prototyped a lightweight design that provides Dr. K an improved forearm segment and the ability to adjust the angle between the top and bottom cane components.


Solution

The objective of Team Quadruped was to build a second prototype that enhanced the initial prototype through three additional features. The desired features in order of decreasing priority were:

  • Angle between bottom member and the forearm segment should be adjustable
  • Forearm segment should better adapt to Dr. K’s forearms
  • Bottom member should be of adjustable height

For full story, visit Dr. K’s Canes


References