Over nine percent of adults living in the UK are currently using some form of mobility aid to help them function properly on a day to day basis’ However, there are many more who could benefit from using one but due to social pressures and perceived stigma they choose not to. Despite the large amount of mobility aids available, few take into account their visual appeal which often deters mobility aid use amongst younger consumers. But is that all that is putting off the younger market? Are there other factors that need to be considered?


The main function of a mobility aid is to help people to walk properly. However, walking frames and mobility aid crutches require the use of both arms, restricting the user from carrying others items. This presents a big problem as the only logical way the user can carry items is on their back, although many people suffer from back problems and it could provide additional strain, especially amongst older users. Even the simplest of day-to-day tasks such as grocery shopping becomes difficult as the user struggles to transfer their goods from one place to another. Simply put, it is extremely difficult for disabled people to carry out everyday tasks without the aid of others, although it doesn’t have to be that way forever. Would it be possible to design a solution that not only provides a suitable solution to this problem, but also incorporates additional functions that offer huge benefits to those who use it?


Accompanied by a mobility aid that combines the benefits of various items of equipment, disabled people would never have to worry about travelling alone again. The functions that go into the product will be dependent on what the market needs and user input will be vital. The demand for such a product is likely to be very high though and the challenge now is to analyse all the aspects required to create a suitable solution and then use the findings from the research and combine them to create a product that the target market simply cannot ignore.
This project presents the development of an innovative mobility trolley that makes use of new technologies such as an MP3 player. The main objective of the group was to develop a successful design that significantly differs to the models that are currently available on the market. With reference to the final design, it is fair to say that this objective was successfully met. In depth research covering existing models led to the conclusion that currently there are no mobility trolleys available on the market that accommodate for the younger generation and technology is minimal. The final design incorporates new technology within it, in particular an MP3 player, as well as space for a mobile phone and it should appeal to the younger market. However, several features, including lights and a breaking system, were also included in order for the product to appeal to the older generation as well.


In terms of cost, the aim was to keep the final price to the consumer below £250. This objective has been successfully achieved, with the final cost to the consumer accumulating to £239.70p. However, weight was seen as a big issue by many of the people asked during the questionnaire stage of the research and the intended target was to keep the total weight of the product below 4.5kg. Although the product still weighs slightly less than the majority of models on the market at 6.781kg, a variety of things could have been done better to ensure the weight would have been below the intended target. Materials could have been more carefully selected and the product should have been a lot smaller in terms of size. A smaller product with adjustable handles would have reduced the weight considerably and this should have been considered during the concept stage of development.


How the group worked as a whole was key to the successful completion of the project. After in depth planning and regular group meetings, centred around a well devised GANTT chart, successful results were achieved. Tasks were always completed on time and each member strived to achieve the results they were looking for. Communication between group members improved throughout the project and successful bonds were formed, making group tasks much easier to undertake.


Special thanks to all the group members:- Andrew Howard, Yusuf Chanchangi, Esther Iteman, Dawit Tesfatzion.