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Sheffield Hallam University
Art & Design Graduate Showcase

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Alex Holmes

Loco is a next generation walking aid innovation designed by Alex Holmes allowing those with mobility difficulties to experience the outdoors with ease and without restriction to smooth flat surfaces. It gives users greater freedom and independence for leisure improving their quality of life and social well-being.

Existing walking aids struggle on rougher terrain, limiting where the user can explore which includes; cobbled paths, woodland trails and sandy beaches. To overcome this, Loco offers power assisted walking controlled via two independent triggers. This in combination with the forearm support relieves the weight of the user, enabling and encouraging them to walk further and for a longer duration, enhancing stamina and improving fitness. Loco moves via an electronic tracked system which involves a rubber tread and four smaller rollers in-between the fixed corner bearings, all powered via a sprocket chained system, sending power directly to a raised idler wheel at the front. The tracks large surface area will displace the users weight, obstacles in the way are not a problem and steep gradients are now more accessible ensuring a smooth ride. The gyroscopic sensor and accelerometer create a sense of reassurance, notifying a pre-saved emergency contact if an accident has occurred. However, having a low centre of gravity makes it easier for the user to raise it back up.

Loco focusses on inclusivity, reducing the capability demands of the product which results in more people being able to use it, improving their user experience. This ranges from those in later life to those going through stroke rehabilitation or anyone with difficulty ambulating.

Aiming to destigmatise assistive devices, Loco looks nothing like current boxed rollators. Featuring an unintimidating soft aesthetic with a single vertical support, Loco is utilitarian yet ergonomic.

Loco – Proof of Principle Working Prototype
Labelled Features