Advanced Assist (A2) Platform
An exciting new project to help people who struggle to stand unassisted has been made a reality thanks to SOLIDWORKS user Tim Lucas. With an estimated 15.4 million people in the UK living with long term chronic conditions, Tim’s brief was to design a product which would help improve the quality of life of both sufferers and their carers. “Following a research study it was found that people who need equipment to assist in transferring between seated positions are currently limited by a range of devices that cater for the two polar extremes of ability – leaving those who fall in the middle of the ability scale and could transfer themselves if enabled being reliant upon carer assisted transfers.” Explained Tim Lucas, Industrial Product Designer; “The idea was to see how design can address the needs of people living with long term chronic illness, and indeed those who care for them, to enable them to live more independently, to empower and improve the quality of life. As well as addressing this need, the proposal needed explore and excite.” With the aid of occupational therapists, Tim created the Advanced Assist (A2) platform. Designed in SOLIDWORKS, the semi-automated device is capable of helping those with trouble standing to move unassisted from one seated position to another using a unique, patented “Split-Sling” which allows the user to be lifted, moved and lowered in comfort, control and safety. “The biggest challenge was to enable the user, with limited ability, to be safely captured and held securely without assistance throughout the transfer. Confidence by the user in the equipment was paramount,” Tim added; “SOLIDWORKS was instrumental in realising the final concept. The ability to ‘build-in’ intelligence to the model ensured that the design stayed within parameters. “With medical equipment standards to comply to, being able to structurally validate the design was essential – SOLIDWORKS simulation made the process easy and quick to try different iterations of the structure. The surfacing tools also came in to play with developing the warm and soft flowing aesthetics.” To find out more about the A2 and Tim’s other projects, visit www.tim-lucas.co.uk.