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Monday, August 29, 2016

Embrace: the warmth of sensitive design!

By Avinash Yadav
Photography: Courtesy Carlos Schreib
Read Time: 2 mins
Embrace - walking aid by Carlos Schreib
Embrace - prototype

German industrial designer, Carlos Schreib has conceptualised a single-module, easy-to-use walking stick that can double up as a restive seat, when needed; especially catering to aged 60 and above...

‘Embrace’ is a humble thought put to exercise; to create an assistive device that enables elderly people to embrace life again with a rejuvenated mindset.   

Embrace - walking aid by Carlos Schreib - concept drawing
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Life throws challenges and ageing is one such that makes one most dependent. The concept of Embrace is centred on this thought.

Embrace - walking aid by Carlos Schreib - development process
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Based on a new stabilizing technology, Carlos’ mobility assistance consists of a self-stabilizing walking aid with an omni-directional wheel combined with a G-sensor like in a “Segway”. It is able to move in any direction with just one wheel, thanks to the technology Honda invented in 2009, where multiple small-diameter motor-controlled wheels, connect in line to form one large-diameter wheel.

Embrace - walking aid by Carlos Schreib - details
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Embrace - walking aid by Carlos Schreib - details
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Besides providing mobility assistance, the stick can be transformed into a temporary seat (by turning its handle by 900) for a quick resting possibility, instantly helping one take the weight off one’s tiring feet. Since it is not like a real stool, a short respite becomes very comfortable, comparable to resting one’s butt on a table edge.

Embrace - walking aid by Carlos Schreib - details
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Embrace - walking aid by Carlos Schreib - details
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The design language here speaks of a potent tool, which is more compact in nature and technology driven. The flowing lines, geometrical cuts and technical details are not hidden but are a part of the design. The outer, white shell is made of Carbon fibre material, while the light aluminium touch adds a sleek look to the main body.

Embrace - walking aid by Carlos Schreib - details
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“These products are costly due to the fact that they use advanced technology,” says Carlos speaking about its price point. “This will change once the idea gets more attention, more research and gets used more. It is quite costly for now, but as technology advances, it will become more affordable.”

Embrace - walking aid by Carlos Schreib
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The underlying thought that Carlos has worked with – that one day people will not feel ashamed of their walking aids and will not hold back from participating in society due to the fact that moving is not as easy as it once was – not only makes the concept more approachable as a go-to product on the shelf, but also speaks volumes for the renewed psychological make-up of the senior generation. 

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