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Background

Question:

This report intends to find an innovative solution to the problem of commutation faced by disabled individuals.
 

This report intends to find an innovative solution to the problem of commutation faced by disabled individuals. There are many traditional choices for mobility devices but they are found to be ineffective in addressing the basic needs of the disabled individuals. For years, academic researchers have been exploring various concepts and theories to conceptually design an effective mobility device with multi-functionalities and unquestionable comfort. It was found that disabled individuals though could commute through walks, cane, wheelchair and many other mobile devices, there were areas inaccessible to such mobility devices. Also, the computer aided mobility devices with the amount of investment they seek are beyond the approach of common people. Thus cost has become another crucial criteria to devise an innovative solution to break this logjam. Even the Segway personal transporter looked promising with all the latest technologies and design, but it failed to get the desired approval from the authorities concerned. Hence the mobility device can’t be used as a medical device despite of its strong functions and in fact, it was found to be unsafe for the riders as well. After a comprehensive evaluation of the available ideas to address the major concern through mind mapping technique, it was found that EAZ mobility device has all in it to be a potential device to support disabled people. It integrated the independent designs of two other mobility devices to form a hybrid mobility device that has the mettle to become a good choice for the disabled individuals. It is hoped that this report would shed light on some of the important facets of the mobility devices in order to continue making efforts in the direction of aiding disabled individuals. 

Table of Contents

Executive Summary                                                                                                                                                             

Introduction                                                                                                                                                                              

Background                                                                                                                                                                              

Idea Generation for Mobility Device                                                                                                                           

Idea Selection: Preferred solution for mobility device                                                                                         

Conclusion                                                                                                                                                                                

References          

Summary

Introduction:  Innovation has been a crucial component across various industries around the world. With growing technological developments, its important that effective solutions are developed to help disabled individuals commute with a complete physical and emotional ease.  Though the traditional solutions for supporting physically impaired people exist, there are many shortcomings attached to them. However, the new EAZ disability device has collaborated different technologies to emerge as a potential choice for a feasible solution that runs for a long time.

Conclusion

There are many traditional mobility devices developed over the years. But given the unsatisfactory response of them, disabled people have been looking for something more engaging and cost friendly solution. After the failure of Segway personal transporter, it has become essential that a unique solution is found out based on advanced technology which provides complete comfort and freedom to the disabled people. It may not be cost friendly but has shown exemplary potential as a permanent solution.

Innovative mobility device

The new EAZ mobility device integrates technology in such a way that it allows disabled people to stand or sit as per their convenience while commuting. Made up of advance components such as sensors, the device uses a self-balancing mechanism to provide a safe commutation experience. Designed by Grayson Stopp, the device has an appealing appearance and can prove to be a good alternative in the time to come.  

Idea Generation for Mobility Device

The report is aimed to conceptually design a suitable mobility device to provide assistance to the disabled individuals. Given the problems disabled people face while commuting, researchers have been exploring potential solutions in the transportation system. As the World Health Organization has drawn the attention of the percolating issue with the development of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health model, people suffering from mobility impairments are likely to receive some effective mobility solutions (Sawtzky, Denison and Tawashy, 2008). Its for the same reason that therapists aim to consider all the aspects of improving the mobility of a disabled person when it comes to designing the functions of the mobility solution. Thus its not just about finding a suitable device to transport but how it can enhanced the chances of disabled individuals to engage in other activities and address issues in context of functional objectives such as satisfaction, and self-esteem.

People with physical disability struggle to commute from one point to another. Either they have to depend on the family members or carers, or get accustomed to the ineffective mobility devices. People suffering with mobility impairments are likely to experience problems in postoperative care of all sorts such as speed, distance, fatigue and more.  Such people often use the traditional mobility devices such as wheelchair, walkers, and canes if they can manage to propel else motored devices are used to wheel such individuals around to achieve their mobility goal. However, every device has its own set of advantages and disadvantages stimulating the need for effective mobility devices. Alongside, the once popular Segway PT has emerged to be an unsafe option for disabled individuals. It be noted that there are many public places which are inaccessible for disabled persons when they are wheeled in a mobility device such as stairs, uneven surface etc. Thus, while designing a suitable mobility device for disabled, there are multiple parameters to be factored in so as to reach out at a comfortable solution (Uustal & Minkel, 2002-2010). There is dire need to come out with innovative solutions in the form of mobility devices in order to provide the much desired assistance to the disabled people in commuting to the places of their choice, without relying on others. It is important that disabled individuals be given the freedom of choice to commute and engage in other social activities in order to beat the stigma attached. There should be continuous efforts in the field of science and technology to come out with integrated mobility solutions which are equally effective and efficient. 

Over years, intensive research has been done in order to find out suitable commutation solutions for the disabled people of the world. Though some of the experiments have been successful, many others are languishing to get the nod from the medical authorities spread in different parts of the world. In order to find a suitable mobility solution for disabled individuals, there were different options available. It includes the conventional mobility devices, such as wheelchairs, walkers, and scooters. These mobility devices ensure that disabled people are able to commute on their own with or without any assistance. People suffering from mobility impairments are likely to use a wheeled device to achieve their mobility goals (Lezzoni, 1996). However, there are challenges in each of them. People with functional lower- or upper-limb and possess coordination can make use of a cane, walker or manual wheelchair (Mattingly, 1993;Thacker, Sprigle & Morris, 1994).  However, they can use a motorized mobility device if they lack the requisite physical strength to move forward such as a powered wheelchair or scooter (Boninger, 2002-10). As much as they can prove to be good enough for transporting individuals from one point to another, engaging in other social activities just like physically active do can be a challenge. For instance, socializing with friends, going out for shopping, or other public events is something and working can still be a challenge to be incorporated in mobile devices.  Its important to make the disabled people all the more comfortable with the new concept. There can be psychological effects due to the stigma attached with using mobility devices and hence its relevant to make disabled people feel relatable. Also, there are many public places that are not comfortably accessible for disabled people with wheeled mobile devices. Though there is growing awareness to make public places accessibility for all the people, irrespective of their disability, there are non-uniform results seen around. Hence it is import to ascertain that the selected mobility device has it all to fit into the comfort of the disabled people for an enriching commutation experience. Additionally, cost is an important factor selecting the mobility device. Depending on the makers, and the amount of investment made, the price of the mobility device would be decided. Segment personal transporter is another conventional mobility device. Termed as a self-balancing, electric-powered transportation device, the rider is expected to stand on a small platform lifted up from the ground by four wheels. It manages to balance itself using solid-state gyroscopes and sensors that track the center of gravity of individuals. It ensures that the person doesn’t fall.  As and when rider bends forward, the Segway propels to maintain an upright position; as the leans back, the Segway stops and heads in the reverse direction (Sawtzky, Denison & Tawashy, 2008). However, it has its own pitfalls.  Despite being used by the Canadian and United States Postal Services, Chicago Police, Boston Emergency Medical Services, and local university and airport security (www.segway.com, n.d.), it hasn’t managed to gain global acceptance for individuals with mobility impairments. Also, it hasn’t got a nod from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a medical equipment. Having said that, there are many who have recognized the potential of this technology to improve the mobility of disabled individuals. Given the pros and cons of each of the mobility device, the team would focus on selecting a mobility device that is safe, secure and affordable for the disabled people.  

Idea Selection: Preferred solution for mobility device

In order to reach at the proposed solution, there were many creative thinking tools used. Each tool had its own pros and cons and allowed to explore the available ideas to the best of the knowledge. Mind map is one of the most popular creative thinking tool that allows to explore different ideas to resolve the commutation problems faced by disabled individuals. It can be defined as a graphical method to present the visual link between different ideas and crucial piece of information (Sim, 2012).  It allows developing a visual depiction of all the available relevant information about the possible solutions to the problem. In this present case, different ideas for mobility device in context of resolving the commutation problem of the disabled individuals will be introduced. For instance, Segway PT, wheelchair, scooter and walker were the solutions discussed with their pros and cons. It is important that different aspects of every solution are studied and discussed before the most suitable solution could be achieved. The mind map has improved the confidence in the learning abilities by allowing ideas to expand in multiple branches thereby giving out a visually organized thinking plot. It brings out the tangible connections between ideas and the emerging concepts to add more weight to the arguments for each idea. Mind maps allow creative aspects to surface and reach out to the best idea that helps in find the potential solution for the said problem.

Conventional solutions including crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, scooters have been emerging as a way to address impaired mobility. Though they are cost effective and use low technology application, many patients are found using them. However, they may not be suitable for serious disabilities. There are concerns regarding the person tripping from it and hurting unwarrantedly.  In the same vein, crutches, canes, and walkers are useful but they are yet again are not a long term option for commuting to different terrains. The Segway has some edge over traditional mobility devices such as wheelchairs and scooters. In fact, manual wheelchairs are found to be causing serious injuries and hence regarded a mediocre option for disabled individuals (Kirby et al., 1994).  It be noted that almost  half of the manual wheelchair users suffering from a spinal cord injury are likely to report repetitive strain injuries in the wrist, elbow, or shoulder (Gellman, Sie & Waters, 1988). Thus for a safe solution, a combination of these or perhaps an advanced version of Segway PT can be a thinkable option. From this discussion, its quite clear that the popularly available mobility solutions have some shortcomings to be emerged as a strong solution and the suitable solution can be a hybrid of the existing mobility devices.

After all the thorough exploration and further evaluation of different ideas for effective mobility device for disabled, EAZ disabled mobility device can be a good alternative. From the very concept and design, it eliminates the discomfort of wheeling around. Its an innovative mobility device which represent the combination of both a wheelchair and a walker (www.tuvie.com, 2011). It can be used additionally by the old people also as their personal transportation solution.  This two-wheeled mobility device possesses a self-balancing mechanism which allow riders to stand or sit while commuting. It gives the much desired freedom to disabled individuals to ride in their best comfort. Designed by Grayson Stopp, this device is likely to transform the world of disabled persons in the time to come. With advanced technology and exceptional concept, there are fair chances that this mobility device may become a potential resort in the near future. 

Conclusion

 

Conclusion

This report has unveiled EAZ disabled mobility device as a suitable solution to provide the much desired freedom for commutation from one place to another. For years, researchers have been working in the direction of developing mobility solutions for the disabled individuals. There are many conventional mobility devices such as wheelchair, crutches, cane, scooter, walker etc. Each of these device functions the way to ensure that disabled individuals can move around. Even the World Health Organization has come forward to express concerns over the lack of effective mobility devices that can aid to the disabled persons. Also, the overall concept of the mobility device has undergone a huge transformation over a number of years. With the introduction of advanced technology solutions, electronic components such as sensors and actuators have come to the fore to modify the design of conventional mobility devices.  From the traditional to the technology oriented mobility devices, different concepts and theories have come forth to find out a suitable mobility device which not only provides the basic functionalities but can engage the riders into other social activities so they don’t feel left out in the public domain. Its important that the disabled individuals feel good about the mobility device and are comfortable riding on that. This report has discussed the pros and cons of different mobility devices in order to check their viability in the actual practices. Though the traditional mobility devices are found to be cost effective, not every mobility device is injury free in the very first place. Its important for disabled individuals to consider both the functionalities, and cost factor before it can decide upon any of the mobility device.

Even though Segway PT was turned down as a satisfactory medical device, it does stimulate the need for advanced IT solutions to be incorporated in the design of mobility devices so as to come out with an effective medical device. Through mind mapping technique, a pictorial representation of the entire scheme of things has been laid down in order to find the best mobility device for the disabled individuals. In the same lines, EAZ mobility device was found to have that innovative quotient complemented by effective functioning to provide complete assistance in commutation. Given the conceptual design of the mobility device, it provides complete comfort and gives the choice of standing or sitting to the disabled riders as they commute from one point to another. It is hoped that this report would help in stimulating more research in this field.  

References

Uustal, H. & Minkel, J.L. (2002-10). Study of the independence IBOT 3000 mobility system: An innovative power mobility device, during use in community environments. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2004, 85.

World Health Organization: Proceedings of The International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health: IFC, Geneva, WHO, 2001

Iezzoni LI: When walking fails. JAMA. (1996), 276, 1609–13

Mattingly, D. (1993).Wheelchair selection. Orthop Nurse, 12,pp.11–7

Thacker, J.G., Sprigle, S.H.& Morris, B.O. (1994). Understanding the Technology when Selecting Wheelchairs. Arlington, RESNA Press.

Boninger M.L. (1999). Wheelchair pushrim kinetics: Bodyweight and median nerve function. Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 80, pp.910–5

EAZ Disabled Mobility Device Is An Innovative Mobility Solution For Physically Disabled Person | Tuvie. (2011).

Kirby, R.L., Ackroyd-Stolarz, S.A., Brown, M.G., et al (1994).Wheelchair-related accidents caused by tips and falls among non-institutionalized users of manually propelled wheelchairs in Nova Scotia. Am J Phys Med Rehabil,73, pp.319–30

Gellman, H., Sie, I., Waters, R.L. (1988).Late complications of the weight-bearing upper extremity in the paraplegic patient. Clin Orthop Relat Res, 233, pp. 132–5

Sawatzky, B., Denison, I., Langrish, S., Richardson, S., Hiller, K., & Slobogean, B. (2008). The Segway personal transporter as an alternative mobility device for people with disabilities: A pilot study. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation, 88(11), 1423-1428. 

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