A group of Irish students have created a remarkable device that helps elderly people and people with disabilities to stand and walk.
The mobility device could help people regain much of their independence and self-esteem.
The students, from Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), are known as Team Stryde Tech and have won an international award for their efforts.
Cian O’Leary is a member of Team Stryde Tech. He explained how their device works.
He said: “The mobility device helps people to get from a seated position independently, a feature absent from normal walking frames – its handles lower to the user’s seated waist height and raise to provide helpful upward force while standing up.”
Team were awarded a gold medal for their device at the Global Student Innovation Challenge held in Canberra, Australia.
The competition is part of the Annual International Convention on Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology. The purpose of the convention is to bring people together who are looking for ways to improve the quality of life of elderly or disabled people.
Michael Loftus is Head of faculty of engineering and science at CIT.
He said: “Stryde Tech has excelled in this context and achieved global recognition for the outstanding quality of the team’s work. They are a credit to Cork Institute of Technology, to Cork, and to Ireland.”
His high praise of the students was echoed by CIT President Dr Barry O’Connor.
Dr O’Connor said: “Stryde Tech’s success is further evidence of the strong focus of CIT engineering programmes on applying high-level engineering design tools to enhance quality of life in this case for the many people who rely on assistive technology such as walking frames to maintain their independence.
“The global recognition of these CIT engineering graduates will expedite the uptake of their innovative product design for the betterment of the lives of thousands of walking frame users.”
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Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling