Industrial - Honours
The Balance Platform is the culmination of research into physical rehabilitation for stroke survivors. The design improves the experience of balance rehabilitation, providing users with a safe and secure environment for their exercises. It caters to users' needs with a refined wobble board design that is easier to stand on, as well as a set of armrests that help users support themselves independently.
In Australia, stroke was the cause of over 6% of all deaths in 2020. 27,428 new strokes occurred – one stroke every 19 minutes – and over 440,000 people were still suffering through the aftereffects of having had a stroke.
Stroke rehabilitation is a complex, multifaceted process that is different for every stroke survivor. Depending on the intensity of the stroke, and other factors, a survivor can experience their own unique set of impairments. For many, these impairments can involve various symptoms: reduced strength in their arms and legs; a loss of sensation in their upper limbs; arm activity impairment; reduced fitness; difficulty with sitting, standing, and the transition between the two positions; and walking. Rehabilitation involves the treatment and management of these impairments, to help the survivor reclaim their body.
Wobble boards are common tools for balance rehabilitation. By building control over their movements on the unstable surface, the user can improve their balance and begin to develop strength and confidence. The challenge is that this places someone who already has difficulty standing upright on to an unstable surface – where they will be even less confident. This can be dangerous, and a truly negative experience.
The Balance Platform provides a positive experience through the use of a large wobble board with a number of user-friendly features.
As well as being designed for strength and stability, the frame of the Balance Platform has been designed to be completely collapsible. This makes the Balance Platform suitable for storage and easy to transport.
Once it has been folded up, the Balance Platform goes from a size of 0.9m x 0.8m x 1.3m to approximately 1m x 0.8m x 0.2m
Mathieu is a passionate designer, trained in industrial design, games design, and technology innovation. He works to take his designs beyond the user to develop positive and engaging experiences.