Student Creates 'Boomer' Mobility Aid That Climbs/Descends Stairs
A student at Monash University in Australia has designed and fully prototyped the Boomer, for all of us up-and-coming mobility aid seekers. Designer Daniel Molloy has won the recognition of the Australian Design Award committee, which selected Boomer as one of 13 finalists in its student award competition. The Boomer's futuristic styling and lightweight manufacturing technique make it more bearable to think about moving into a walker... but its safety aspects may cinch the case.
Most walkers are useless for getting up and down stairs. But the Boomer actively aids the process instead of hampering it. Designed for stability when walking, Boomer's four wheels roll forward or backward on the ground, but when you mount or descend stairs, a push of a button raises the front wheels, and just the back wheels negotiate the stairs. You can lean your weight on the frame to steady you, while the back wheels move up and down to assist your climb.
And Boomer's other features aren't bad either. Sleek and aerodynamic, it's a far cry from your mom's walker. Gas-assisted injection molding technology makes the Boomer light weight and hollow so all of the brake mechanisms and cables are stored within the structure. The push of another button allows you to raise and lower the Boomer for correct height position; the chair and back rest are cushioned for comfort; and the back rest features a zippered compartment, to keep personal items like wallet and keys, which can fold out to carry larger items when you go shopping (instead of using that tacky metal basket).
I'm not anxious to use a walker, but the Boomer is at least a cool walker. It does its best to remove the old, infirm, inferior stigma that assistive medical devices and aids do their best to communicate.
Keeping you posted...