Alfred, robotic walker for seniors

Envisioning a new business that meets the needs, wants and desires of residential consumers in North America, with automation and robotics based solutions and sustainable competitive advantages in 2030.

Service

Robotic Walker for Seniors, Industrial Design, Strategy, User Research, Trends Research, Future Trends Forecasting

Client

Classroom Project

Year

2019

Trends Study to identify a growing demographic and predict their pain points 

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By 2030, all baby boomers will be of age 65 and older

By 2030, all baby boomers will be of age 65 and older

By 2030, all baby boomers will be of age 65 and older

Source: The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 National Population Projections. 

Source: The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 National Population Projections. 

There will be around 74 million Americans of age 65 and above, that is around 18.5 million (25% of 74M) consumers will be looking for walking aids.

Source: Consumer affairs report_Use of walking aids jumps 50% in 10 years 

They are almost impossible to move up the stairs

Identifying 5 key pain points associated with current walkers. 

How can we design a walker to shift it from a cumbersome and embarrassing device to a reliable and highly skilled aid just like Bruce Wayne's butler, Alfred?

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Strategic Design

Alfred walker is strategically designed for 2030, the year when all the Baby Boomers will reach the retirement age of 65 and above. It leverages the fact that baby boomers have come to appreciate the convenience of technology and connected objects and hence, desire a product beyond the abilities of current offerings in the assistive mobility aids category. 

A key acronym for the future of mobility is ACES, which stands for Autonomous, Connected, Electric and Shared. Alfred integrates the first three drivers, ACE, into a personal (not shared), assistive mobility aid.

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Moodboard for look and feel

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Robotics inspiration and study

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Different stages of ideation and concept development

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Handlebar interface

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Height Adjustment

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Orientation through narrow spaces

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Alfred is always at your beck and call

Voice based interactions for an easy learning curve for seniors

Alfred walks by your side, at your pace

Assistive mode when laser rangefinder scanners study and follow the user's gait

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It allows you to take a break whenever and wherever you want 

Integrated collapsible seat

It provides you support where there is none

Stair climbing wheels 

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Technological feasibility 

A lot of the leaps of technical feasibility were made based on a smartwalker study done with the elderly in retirement homes in Zurich.
 
This study and the iBot by Dean Kamen were the main products for technical reference while imagining Alfred.  

The assistive mode is used when one wants Alfred to walk beside them or hold onto it while walking. 

The autonomous mode is for when the user wants the walker to go away and park itself to its charging dock.

Strategic Roadmap

A lot of the leaps of technical feasibility were made based on a smartwalker study done with the elderly in retirement homes in Zurich.
 
This study and the iBot by Dean Kamen were the main products for technical reference while imagining Alfred.  

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Testimonial from an expert

"Alfred is smart, sleek, and a companion that our aging community needs. With the population of older adults gradually on the rise, Alfred is a great solution for those needing extra security and assistance with ease. As a researcher of assistive ambulatory devices, I find Alfred to be a great upgrade to the current medical model’s present in the market. With the ability to assist with common challenges experienced by aging adults such as stairs and fatigue, Alfred secures the worries of social isolation and fear of falling. Research shows most aging adults resist mobility aids because of the stigmatization of appearing “old” yet Alfred’s sleek and modern design may change the status quo of aids to be more inclusive, accepted, and hip. As a Geriatrician specialized in walkers, I am keen on Alfred and the wave of necessary change it can bring to the aging community worldwide!"

Mercedes Fernandez, 

M.A. Kinesiology emphasis in Geriatrics