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Thread: Design Project - Create a solution for a disability-based problem.

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Design Project - Create a solution for a disability-based problem.

    Hello, I'm Charlie Armstrong from the UK.
    I'm in my final year of secondary school, before going to university, and I do DT (Design and Technology) as an A Level.

    The task / brief that I've been given is to 'Identify a problem that people with a specific disability have, then develop a solution to the problem'.

    Currently the path I have gone down in research is problems related to swimming, one of which was people with mobility issues or wheelchairs getting safely into the pool, but I discovered this problem was already solved for the most part with various pool hoists etc

    So I have come here to get more data first-hand from people, to ask:
    1. What disability do you have?
    2. What problems do you encounter having this disability (related to swimming or water)?

    So that I could possibly develop a solution to the problem!

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    I realize I might have posted this in the wrong area.

  3. #3

    Lightbulb Design Project - Create a solution for a disability-based problem.

    Hello, I'm Charlie Armstrong from the UK.
    I'm in my final year of secondary school, before going to university, and I do DT (Design and Technology) as an A Level.

    The task / brief that I've been given is to 'Identify a problem that people with a specific disability have, then develop a solution to the problem'.

    Currently the path I have gone down in research is problems related to swimming, one of which was people with mobility issues or wheelchairs getting safely into the pool, but I discovered this problem was already solved for the most part with various pool hoists etc

    So I have come here to get more data first-hand from people, to ask:
    1. What disability do you have?
    2. What problems do you encounter having this disability (related to swimming or water)?

    So that I could possibly develop a solution to the problem!

    Thank you!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieADesignProject View Post
    Hello, I'm Charlie Armstrong from the UK.
    I'm in my final year of secondary school, before going to university, and I do DT (Design and Technology) as an A Level.

    The task / brief that I've been given is to 'Identify a problem that people with a specific disability have, then develop a solution to the problem'.

    Currently the path I have gone down in research is problems related to swimming, one of which was people with mobility issues or wheelchairs getting safely into the pool, but I discovered this problem was already solved for the most part with various pool hoists etc

    So I have come here to get more data first-hand from people, to ask:
    1. What disability do you have?
    2. What problems do you encounter having this disability (related to swimming or water)?

    So that I could possibly develop a solution to the problem!

    Thank you!
    Using a crutch with a rubber ferrule on the bottom is very risky due to the crutch slipping away.

    Design a non-slip ferrule for crutch users to make walking on a wet poolside safer.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Hi Charlie,
    yes this is probably in the wrong sub-forum but don't worry, a moderator can move it if needed.

    Just because pool hoists have already been done doesn't mean you should dismiss it as a project.
    You could look at what the probems are with current hoists and how to improve them.

    Brand new ideas are few and far between, most engineering design is how to do something better using new manufacturing techniques and materials.

    Henry Ford didn't say 'Oh; people already make cars so I have to do something else' he said 'How can I design and make cars better and cheaper'.

    To put this into perspective I have spent 35 years designing stuff for various companies.
    A typical break down of what you do for a company as a designer is:
    About 30% redesigning the companys existing products to use new manufacturing techniques, improve them, add new features, and get costs down.
    About 30% modifying the companys standard product to suit the customer order.
    About 25% bespoke, one-off solutions ordered by particular customers.
    About 15% new stuff that replaces products already on the market, (because our new stuff does it better).

    You can see that leaves 0% for inventing brand new stuff, it's probably about 1% in truth.
    As I said truly new inventions are few and far between.

    Good luck with your project, and If you come up with something truly new, then get it patented before showing it to your tutors.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I posted a longer thread about product design but its awaiting moderation, should turn up soon.

    In the meantime; from a post today by Popeye in the hobbies thread, might not be the poolside project you are looking for, but a talking device combines electronic and mechanical design considerations and should score highly for your project.

    Mostly listening to the radio and talking books now, used to make my own beer, wine and some other beverages until I could no longer see the Hydrometer readingss noboody majes a talking Hydrometer,

    you can get weighing scales, thermometers, that talk but not Hydrometers or ph meters,
    http://www.youreable.com/forums/show...0747#post70747
    Last edited by nukecad; 20-10-14 at 19:43.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Hi Charlie,

    You original post got moved here and seems to have been split into two threads, this one and
    http://www.youreable.com/forums/show...0761#post70761

    ANY MODERATOR ABOUT WHO CAN MERGE THE THREADS BACK TOGETHER PLEASE.

  8. #8

    Would this equipment be useful to you?

    It's possible that you may remember my post from a while back, I was looking for problems people had with wet areas, to see if I could create some equipment to help with these problems, the one I found was that the standard ferrule on some crutches wasn't grippy enough, and it was easy for it to slip out from underneath you in a wet area.

    IMG_20150422_172234.jpg

    To solve the problem I created this, a separate attachment which slots onto where the standard rubber ferrule can go, which is attached by a cable to an attachment to the handle. You simply squeeze the handle attachment, which enables hole to be plugged, creating a vacuum between the floor and the suction cup at the bottom.

    IMG_20150422_172245.jpg IMG_20150422_172248.jpg IMG_20150422_172255.jpg IMG_20150422_172302.jpg

    It's completely detachable so you could carry just the 2 parts around in a bag, the cable is long enough for the maximum crutch height setting, and there are 2 clips for if you want to wrap it around the crutch on a shorter height setting.

    I'm just looking for some feedback on it from people who have more experience with using this type of equipment than me, anything will do.

  9. #9
    In case anyone wondered, the project is now finished (i'm just looking for evaluation). I worked on Lighttouch's idea, here's the link! http://www.youreable.com/forums/show...-useful-to-you

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieADesignProject View Post
    In case anyone wondered, the project is now finished (i'm just looking for evaluation). I worked on Lighttouch's idea, here's the link! http://www.youreable.com/forums/show...-useful-to-you
    Interesting.

    For 90% of the time a ferrule will adhere to the floor surface if there is enough friction.

    Areas where a crutch will slide away are on

    - glossy or waxed marble floors
    - a wet marble floor
    - a dusty marble floor
    - a wet pavement especially near a wall where moss or lichen grow

    I see where you are coming from here but we need to look at the design.

    Incorporate wireless technology. Trailing cables are so 80s - ditch them.

    You have attatched a cumbersome switch mechanism under the crutch handle that means you can't grip the handle.

    Here's my feedback . . .

    The handle shown is bog standard - use an ergonomic grip.
    - the trigger mechanism under the grip is way to big. Ideally it should be a small button attached to a small circular rechargeable 9v lithium disc battery about the size of a 20p piece.

    - the wifi or bluetooth signal goes to the ferrule to activate a vacuum

    You could get in touch with your local FABLAB re electronics of 3D printing in plastic.

    It's looking promising - check out this website for inspiration http://www.bioness.com/Products/L300_for_Foot_Drop.php

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