NUS Innovator Revolutionizes Canine Mobility with Assistive Walker
Young Innovator from NUS Creates a Groundbreaking Assistive Walker for Mobility-Impaired and Senior Dogs: A Fresh Perspective on Canine Mobility Solutions
In a commendable act of innovation, 26-year-old National University of Singapore (NUS) student, Chong Zi En, gives senior dogs a fresh start with his design of an assistive walker.
This initiative is focused on aiding mobility-impaired dogs and highlights the growing need for such solutions in our society.
Chong’s motivation to devise this assistance for mobility-challenged dogs was sparked during his national service at the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Military Working Dog Unit.
Here, he encountered the daunting task of aiding a senior Malinois dog with weakened hind legs. Realizing the challenges of current canine mobility aids, Chong embarked on this design mission, which would come to fruition four years later as an Industrial Design student at NUS.
Building a Dog-Centric Walker: The Backstory
Chong’s development process started by assessing the current solutions available for canine mobility and understanding the needs of handicapped dogs from their owners.
He dove deep into the canine community, interacting with animal physiotherapists and pet owners alike. Through his research, Chong discovered that dog wheelchairs are often expensive, custom-made, and unfortunately, heavy.
This sparked his design initiative to create a low-cost, lightweight, and adjustable assistive walker that could comfortably fit dogs of different sizes, and above all, keep the dog’s comfort and safety as a priority.
Introducing Paw Wheels: A Lightweight, Durable, and Sustainable Canine Walker
Chong’s creation, aptly named Paw Wheels, utilizes optimized 3D-printed joineries and aluminum tubes, ensuring the walker is light yet robust.
The sustainability of the materials also means the walker can be passed on to other dogs, regardless of size, making it a long-lasting product.
The Paw Wheels walker design also prioritizes user-friendliness, allowing a single individual to comfortably strap a dog into the set of harnesses.
The Future of Paw Wheels
Currently, Chong is seeking grants and additional support to help further develop Paw Wheels, with ambitions of making the walker foldable.
His socially-driven project aims to enhance animal welfare by assisting rescued animals and dogs with mobility issues, alleviating the mental and financial strain on their caretakers.
Chong’s innovative work will be showcased at the NUS Division of Industrial Design graduation show, “Design in Flux”, offering the public an opportunity to witness this breakthrough in canine mobility aids.
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- NUS Industrial Design Graduation Show – Design in Flux
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- Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Military Working Dog Unit