#TechThursdays - Flexmo, a one-of-its-kind crutch, is engineered for all terrain types
Our weekly tech feature is on Flexmo, which claims to offer an edge over traditional crutches that are prone to slipping and falling. Flexmo, on the other hand, allows the user to walk on all types of terrain.
Srinivas Adepu was studying at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-D) when his friend met with an accident and had to use crutches temporarily. That put the thought in Srinivas' head to develop an aid that could help people who are disabled, temporarily or permanently.
"His plight, of not being able to do the daily chores by himself, was an impactful memory, says Srinivas. "Even a simple task of climbing the staircase became complicated with the crutches. It later struck me that those who are permanently disabled go through the same struggle every day.
In his first semester, when asked by the faculty mentor to improvise the basic design of an existing product, Srinivas decided to improve the crutch. He developed, Flexmo, along with Arvind Suresh Ambalapuzha, a college friend and co-founder of their startup Flexmotiv, which is a part of IIT Delhi's incubation centre, Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer.
Flexmo, which resembles the human foot, is perfectly engineered to crutch usage.
The crutch is a direct replacement for existing crutches. Therefore, anyone who is advised to use axillary crutches can use our crutch. Temporary or permanent, Flexmo can greatly improve their mobility, which enhances their quality of life. - Srinivas Adepu, Chief Technology Officer, Flexmotiv
Flexmo, described as the first self-standing crutch, claims to have an edge over existing products. It claims to be stable in all types of terrain, unlike what is currently available. So, it won't get stuck in sand and slip in mud or smooth surfaces. The crutch is made of aircraft-grade aluminum material and the cushion is of EVA which is more durable. Available products are made of rubber and slippery. Flexmo has a sleek, lightweight body unlike other crutches which can be heavy and hard to handle.
Srinivas aims to launch Flexmo around mid-August. "This is to signify freedom of disabled people from restricted mobility, he says. It wll be available online and throughs elect NGOs. By the end of 2019, it will be available in retail stores. Priced at Rs 2,999, the team is accepting pre-orders online at a discounted price of Rs 1,999. The cost is significantly lower for NGOs.
"We have considered factors like affordability and accessibility and have connected with such mediums that have the same vision as us, says Srinivas, who believes Flexmo will help promote self-sustenance and break stereotypes about people with disabilities.
Flexmotiv has currently completed one level of clinical trials and has been tested on over one hundred users, including disability rights activist Dr Satendra Singh.
One of the users, a person with polio described Flexmo as comfortable. "It is helpful while walking and the cushioning is good. The footprint of the tip is decent and the size of the crutch is compatible too". Another use liked the fact that it is light in weight. "This makes it easy to carry when you are on a bike. The customised stands to carry crutches fail to hold them during jerks.
PRE ORDER HERE: https://www.flexmotiv.com/buy-online/