Crutch Factor

The Collapsible Crutch is designed for nearly all users regardless of their height. The design also increases the load bearing capacity of the crutch. Perhaps the biggest improvement are the collapsable shafts making storage less of an issue when moving in/out of vehicles. They’re still unwieldy looking but if I can sit down in a movie theater or restaurant without awkwardly resting my crutches to the side, I’m all for it. 

Designer: Jonathan C. Smith

48 Comments

  • sosodid says:

    with broken legs!
    how can she drive?

    • grumpy says:

      good one, made me laugh

    • Mixel says:

      If you have broken legs, you probably will use a wheelchair instead of crutches.
      But if you have one broken leg it is possible to drive, it depends on which leg is broken and you need to drive automatic.

    • joao says:

      i think it’s evident that she doesn’t have anything broken since she doesn’t have a cast!

      there are loads of reasons of why she uses crutches without having a broken leg and still be able to drive – i.e twisted ankle, damage on one of the leg tendons

      about the design i think it makes a good point since crutches sometimes doesn’t provide the mobility that it should. this one improves it even if you’re not in the driver seat…

  • Golan says:

    IT get’s better, notice she is driveing with a clutch(stickshift) haha.

    • Ramboat says:

      What’s your point, Golan? I’m a below knee amputee (BKA) and drive a manual 1958 Corvette with 4-speed floor shift. I still need crutches to get to the car.

  • Rono says:

    All jokes aside, it’s very smart and convenient.
    It’s a struggle to get the crutches into any car.
    Also, keep in mind that it’s not ONLY for drivers, lol. So it would make a fantastic idea. Kudos.

    However, I’m a bit uneasy about the curved bottom. How stable can it be when using it?

    • Jonathan says:

      Thanks for the review. Some crutches have a swept foot design and this element has been shown to aid in the transitions over rough terrain. A studded foot also helps during the winter months.

      J

  • evilunatic says:

    nice photoshop edit. but i don’t think u solved any problems with this design.

    • Jonathan says:

      I appreciate your feedback if you have, perhaps you can tell us about traveling by car, plane, train, or taxi while using them?

      J

  • Henrique Staino says:

    well, the only thing new here is the part of the crutch that touches the ground (they are usually smaller and round, like a cane), because collapsible crutches have been around for ages!

    • Jonathan says:

      I agree, collapsible crutches have been around for a while, but the mechanism designed to allow them to retract hasn’t changed. I know of a few great designs, such as those offered by Thomas Fetterman, who I did have the opportunity to discuss this design with. If you are ever in the market for a pair, his are excellent.

      J

  • MadCow says:

    lol, i agree with everybody else here on the use cycle pics, but then again THIS IS ACTUALLY INDUSTRIAL DESIGN! i’m actually happy to see designers trying to solve everyday problems and not just making another iThing.

    The design is rather average but its very close to being awesome, its just missing a small pinch of creative thinking to push it to the next level.

    • Jonathan says:

      Thanks for the review, perhaps you would contact me and give me a few tips on some design changes you had in mind?

      I am always interested in developing real solutions to problems that real people are challenged with.

      J

      designer515@hotmail.com

      I have some other work you can review and critique on http://www.coroflot.com/public/individual_work.asp?individual_id=32802

      Thanks

      J

      • Ok this is a bit of a daft idea, but the core of the problem is making the crutch stow in a car quickly. This could be done simply with a folding latch system, or for the high tech version a auto telescopic one. The latter is pretty easy a motor and screw jack in the tube with the battery pack in the shoulder rest. The cost of this system is quite low now, so its not totally off the wall. Keep working, solving problems is part of what we are supposed to do.

        • Jonathan says:

          The essence of the idea is to design a solution that will allow the user to reduce the size of the crutch, assistance device, when desired. Keep the weight low, utility high, and consider that the person using them for longer periods of time will undergo great physical stresses and challenges. Designing a solid solution will eliminate more problems than it creates, ideally it wont create any new problems.

          I really want any feedback I can get. Feel free to pounce!

          Jonathan Smith

  • Jonathan says:

    Guys thanks for the feedback.
    I imagined the solution for problems with transporting and storing crutches. If you see someone using them, ask them about the need to keep them in the trunk or back seat when riding in a car. I am a designer by trade and would appreciate your constructive criticism on some of my other work which can be found on http://www.coroflot.com/515design

    I appreciate the laughs as well, my wife is enjoying her fifteen minutes!

    Best,

    Jonathan

    • Dianne Sherman says:

      Jonathan I appreciate your design immensley as I have been on crutches for 4 months and have struggled with them in and out of the car, restaurants, movie theaters etc. They also fall down alot as they have a mind of their own. I like the larger bottom as it would give you more surface to ground for better balance. Often they can slip on certain surfaces but maybe not so much with the larger profile. By the way for those who commented, I am healing my tibia which I broke in four places. I had surgery and wore a brace the first 6 weeks (no cast), and I have been driving a stick shift since then. Did you ever manufacture this crutch? Wish I had had it from the beginning.

      • Jonathan says:

        Hello Dianne,

        I would love to be manufacturing these. I designed them for everyone who has to travel with crutches. I have seen people struggle to store them in cars, on buses, on planes, and even when riding a bicycle! Either way the need is there. I designed the foot as if it were a cradle, which is also incorporates studs for the slippery times of the year. I also designed them for people of different sizes. As opposed to many other designs which require the user to purchase a new set as they “grow out” of the old crutches. All in the name of revenue! Man I need a job. I am unemployed right now, laid off in Jan. of 09′ Perhaps someone who reads this knows of a position for a conscientious Industrial Designer?

        Best,

        Jonathan C Smith

  • Dat says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    I like your idea of collapsing the lower half telescopically. It’ll be great for people of different heights but have you considered how the handle height can be adjusted to accomodate different arm lengths?

    It looks as though the handles are fixed into the cross members.

    • Dat,

      The crutch is adjustable between the underarm cushion and the hand grip via another telescoping feature. Another view more accurately illustrates this aspect of the the design, bu tit is not shown in the above renderings.

      Thanks,

      Jonathan

  • Grant says:

    how do i buy it?

    • Grant,

      I am considering developing some prototypes in the coming months. I will post a url to the item for purchase if I can make it happen.

      Thanks for your interest!

      Jonathan

      • JaneR says:

        How do I test prototype?..or can I buy item? Am going in for ligament surgery to knee March 5th. You have peeked my interest as I remember last surgery when I side swiped the entire shelf at Target with my cumbersome crutches while on the electric chair! Great idea!

  • Haytham says:

    I like The concept,I believe that the handicapped equipments have to go out of the sad and boring color and design,such design will give a smile for the person who has to use it daily.
    Well done

  • TW97 says:

    As an above knee amputee who travels a lot I am extremely intrigued by this design. If they were available for purchase or as a trial I guarantee I would give them a try. I use crutches every day and have to pack them when traveling which currently requires me to use very large luggage to make sure the current collapsible ones I own will fit. But the ones I own now have grease and I have to pack them inside their own laundry bag to make sure nothing gets on my other clothes. I am not sure about the stability of the design for the bottom and as I hop on one foot all the time, stability is definitely a critical factor. But I am definitely going to be watching for a chance to try these out.

  • TW97 says:

    As an above knee amputee who travels a lot I am extremely intrigued by this design. If they were available for purchase or as a trial I guarantee I would give them a try. I use crutches every day and have to pack them when traveling which currently requires me to use very large luggage to make sure the current collapsible ones I own will fit. But the ones I own now have grease and I have to pack them inside their own laundry bag to make sure nothing gets on my other clothes. I am not sure about the stability of the design for the bottom and as I hop on one foot all the time, stability is definitely a critical factor. But I am definitely going to be watching for a chance to try these out.

  • Harmony Thaler says:

    Hi there. I use the bilateral sticks. I or a walker in the snow. I have worked hard on my gait. I am researching other options. I walk with a clean step when I wear high heels. I am looking at KAFOs or HKAFO, however, I want it to let me wear my boots. So it will need a bar that goes underneath my shoe -in between my foot and heel. I am also looking into the Newport Hippie, I think it is called.

  • stacy says:

    where can i order it …im from the caribbean and interested in the product.

  • stacy says:

    where can i order it …im from the caribbean and interested in the product.

  • Amy says:

    Hi there,

    Where can I purchase some?

    My husband has a prosthetic leg and we live in NZ and need something he can store in his office in case of a disaster e.g. earthquake and he is unable to use his leg!

    Thanks,

    Amy

  • cyclist says:

    I like this design especially the tip. I first saw this style of tip in a circus act, when I was on crutches. My friends said “don't even think about it” but I was intrigued, it would allow me to “run”. Since then I've gotten off the crutches and am now back on them a few years later. At present I've got a busted ankle and they tell me not to limit putting weight on it. Well, riding a bike puts on a lot Less weight than walking and so I did have the single crutch across the handlebars of my bicycle. Unfortunately the crutch extended too far horizontally, hit a hedgerow and I ended up jousting off the other side of the bike. Walking with sticks is taking forever to heal so I'd Love a collapsible crutch like this. My condition is temporary, so I can't offer you a job but have you looked into organizations that serve people with permanent need for unwieldy orthopedic assistance? Even Little People society of your country or perhaps the Military hospitals? The Shriners branch of the Masons work with crippled children but I'm sure they have contacts for adults who may be able to finance this design.

  • jorge martinez says:

    I being a male of considerable height and weight would like to see a single pole design with aybe screw together hand and arm holds adjustable height would be the problem to solve.

  • ed says:

    hand controls. duh!

  • Liz says:

    I need a long term set of crutches the material at the hand grip needs to be one that won’t tear my hands apart with blisters or rubbing I have a torn labrum and a sprained back I need something that will keep the strain from crutches off my back and stomach muscles to keep from being in pain I need cushion that is easy to clean. Ones that I can store easily in my office and car possibly even travel by plane with them. And some way to carry things such as books and groceries that won’t strain my back or make my crutches uneven I also am living in a place with lots of dust and sand so it tears up bottoms of the crutches. At work there’s no elevator and I work on the second floor and there are steep stairs so the crutch needs a narrow bottom. On tile floors slipping is a huge issue if the floor gets wet after rain snow or cleaning. Also if you had a way to make cleaning easier too I’d appreciate it bc washing my floor and sweeping are quite difficult.
    Thanks let me know if theres a solution.

  • This design is spectacular! You definitely know how to
    keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog
    (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that,
    how you presented it. Too cool!

  • Qunxi Huang says:

    People can drive without legs. They have a handle for gas and brake near the steering wheel. You can find videos on youtube showing how they drive cars.

Comments are closed.