Foldable crutches help user mobility
Making crutches easier to carry and store was the purpose behind this foldable system designed at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) in Medellín Department of Mechanical Engineering.Medellín, 21 de diciembre de 2016 — Agencia de Noticias UN-
For the project, they used the same aluminum, screws, and rivets used in conventional crutches. However, the innovation lies in the springs and additional safety elements created and manufactured by UNal researchers.
The invention was developed by Engineers Jesús David Escobar, Jorge Sepúlveda, Ricardo García Blandón and Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Nelson Antonio Vanegas Molina.
“Although made of aluminum the element which provides safety has a more elaborate process. The piece that makes the crutch to be securely fastened or not turn is the most important aspect because people could think that having particular splicing, it could come apart," said Vanegas.
“This artifact hopes to facilitate the quality of life of people which use crutches, as being foldable it may be transported, stowed or permanently stored in an easier manner when used on a daily basis or when not required,” said Vanegas.
For Vanegas, typically the invention hopes for crutches not to be a nuisance to users and an obstacle, for instance when taking a cab. In times like these, folding the crutches would be very comfortable and quick.
The project was designed to be very simple and made of industrial materials so crutch manufacturing companies may offer an easy to purchase product.
The process is so easy it could be applied to any conventional crutch, by just adapting the system.
Professor Vanegas said that collapsible crutches are in the patent pending stage. Previously the project was presented before a technical evaluation committee after the researchers granted their research to UNal, which funded the necessary consultancies to file for the patent with the Colombian Superintendence of Industry and Commerce.
The following stage is the process to attain the utility model. The purpose is to obtain a business model through the patent, whether developed by a specific firm or for the firm to help in the development.
The foldable crutch project is in its third year and has been advised and accompanied by the UNal-Medellín Technological Management Office.(Por: end/