As the population heading into retirement rises, there has been an increased interest in mobility aids and facilities. More and more people look to stay independent and in their homes for longer, adaptive technology is seeing an increase in interest and funding. This is creating some interesting breakthroughs and innovations within the field.
The Mechanical Smart stairs are one such response from researchers at Georgia tech and Emory University. With a similar principle to an assisted pull up machine at the gym, these steps are not only spring loaded but are also designed to recycle energy.
Originally the partnership had the goal of creating a smart footwear, however the idea evolved into an advanced staircase.
Yun Seong Song told Digital Trends: “When going down these stairs, the springs support you and slow your descent against the pull of gravity, while getting stretched and storing energy in them. When you go up these stairs, the springs release the stored energy and give you a push to help you with the ascent. We showed that the users need to work less on our stairs by up to 37 percent at the knee going up, and 26 percent on the ankle going down, compared to using normal stairs.”
There are many uses for these stairs, and those with significantly limited mobility may use home stair lifts. The smart steps have been designed to aid people in rehabilitation, while they may help people back on their feet after injuries and physio, stairlifts still remain the long term solution.
Though these stairs are still in the early stages and are not ready to be rolled out in homes all over the UK, this innovative thinking may mean much for our society as it grows older and mobility issues become more widespread.
This news article is from Companion Stairlifts. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.