19 Oct 2023

Active support from AI

A walking aid that uses artificial intelligence and robotics to help people with mobility issues maintain their independence has been honoured at this year’s International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA).

The Camino walker can identify potentially difficult or dangerous situations and steer users away from obstacles. It also gives users a boost when walking uphill and provides braking when travelling downhill.

A network of sensors inside the frame and the wheels gives the device an awareness of its surroundings and the person using it. It can become narrower to squeeze through tight spaces and the height can also be adapted to help people get up and down.

It’s hoped the technology will help to empower people who have issues with their mobility and allow them to stay independent for longer.

The Camino is also designed to look more like a piece of high-tech sporting equipment such as carbon fibre bikes, with its creators describing its look as “communicating activity rather than disability”.

The innovation was given a silver award at this year’s IDEAs, which celebrate the work of designers from across the world. Past winners of the awards, organised by the Industrial Designers Society of America, have included Apple’s iPhone and Tesla’s Model S.

Find out more about this year’s winners and the previous recipients on the IDEA website.

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