A device to help walking aids like crutches on soft terrain like sand and mud.
My invention was originally designed for my A2 Design and Technology coursework component as we were entitled to develop our own brief for our projects. After many years of accompanying a close friend who suffers from cerebral palsy and uses elbow crutches to move around, I realised that there was a major issue in the use of walking aids, such as crutches and walking canes, on soft terrain, such as sand and mud.
Because the ferrules (the steel and rubber components on the ends) are so small and yet receiving the full bodyweight of the users they create very high pressures and are unresponsive and inflexible, which causes users to just sink down into the terrain and make it very difficult to lift them back out again. This is especially important because those who are using the walking aids often struggle with balance and mobility (hence their usage) so are likely to trip over and struggle to get up as a result of trapping their ferrules in the ground.
My original idea was not to use this for my coursework but rather to just buy my friend a device to solve the problem but it very quickly became apparent from my research that this was not possible and there was a distinctive gap in the market for such a product, with many people complaining online on the same issues.
After many prototypes, experimenting with various different approaches to the problem (flexible legs, folded springs etc), I completed sufficient work for my A2 coursework (including an earlier unsuccessful type of lid also printed in ABS plastic). Since then I have continued developing the design, and I have reached one that I feel efficiently solves the problem although I have yet to build a full working prototype of it. There are however, currently discussions towards achieving a patent from the designs so far.