Hydraulic Walker, DifferenceMakers
This team won the title of the 2015 Campus-Wide DifferenceMaker. They were awarded $5,000. Team members include Ryan Andrews and Peter Klausmeyer, who are both graduate students studying Physical Therapy. In addition to winning Campus Wide DifferenceMaker in the spring of 2015, they applied to the Engineering Prototyping Competition in the fall of 2014 and won the first place award of $1,000.
Dr. Connie Seymour applied for and received a DifferenceMaker grant where she implemented creative problem solving into her Physical Therapy classroom. Ryan and Peter discovered this walker problem during their clinical rotations in Dr. Seymour’s class. They presented their Hydraulic Walker idea as a final project in her class which helped make their idea more of a reality. They stated that if it was not for this class project, they would not have pursued DifferenceMaker or their idea.
Peter and Ryan have designed and built a walker that utilizes hydraulics, allowing for the legs to be quickly adjusted, so that it can be used on stairs. The hydraulic walker solves the problem that millions of current walker users face in their homes and in the community; the inability to navigate stairs while using their device. Stairs are a major fear for anyone who has just had surgery, has lower body weakness or is prone to losing their balance. The hydraulic walker can help fix this concern and allow people to have the confidence they need and the independence they want.