Stryder, the Transformer Crutch

Posted on June 27, 2010

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Designer: Dat Huynh

Stryder is a hybrid crutch and knee scooter for non-weight bearing lower leg injuries.

Being one of the entries in the Dyson International Award, Stryder has jumped from third place to second place in a short span of two weeks. With the Stryder hybrid crutch and knee scooter, Dat Huynh has attempted to address the problems with existing crutches. According to his research, crutches not only pose a health risk (e.g. wrist injury), they also require 25% more energy than using a knee scooter.

The storyboard above clearly illustrates how the Stryder is used. It is simple (in theory) to switch between scooter and crutch mode. Furthermore, the ‘adaptation’ of a scooter allows the user to travel much further than if he/she were using a crutch, decreasing the level of fatigue experienced while commuting.

While the Stryder seems like a feasible concept in a niche minority, I have a few concerns:

1. Although weight is not most critical (because the user is mostly scooting around), how much heavier would this product be when compared to the average pair of crutches?

2. How much (user) weight can the Stryder support?

3. Are there any form of brakes? If a user were to use this product on a downward slope, I would imagine that he/she would have to exert extra effort in order to maintain a manageable and safe speed.

4. What happens when a user encounters uneven terrain?

6. In line with the theme of universal design, could the product be designed to look more ‘socially acceptable’? At present, it looks like a toy, not something I would like to be seen using.

Despite the straightforward questions we pose to Dat Huynh, we appreciate that designing a ‘semi-medical’ product can be very challenging, especially when there is an impossible amount of factors to consider, and not every issue can be addressed. There is a reason why the simple crutch has been around for ages, and has not been replaced by other products. Dat Hunyh’s Stryder might not displace the crutch, but it will certainly be a stepping stone for future concepts.

We hope that Dat Huynh will be able to shed some light on the doubts that we have, and that he might share his knowledge and experience with us.

We wish Dat Huynh all the best for the Dyson International Awards.

-The Design Critic.

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Posted in: Product