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Rolling Walker Offers Mobility To the Disabled
After a friend suffered severe injuries in a car crash, Grant Hanson of Glenwood, Minn., started working on a new-style walker that has allowed the formerly wheelchair-bound friend to regain strength in her legs.
  Hanson started with a custom-made oversize walker that had been ordered but never picked up from a local business. He attached two 3/4-in. steel rods that pivot on ball bearings from the walker's legs to above the handles. The rods connect to a linkage of hinged 1/4 and 3/8-in. flat metal pieces and needle bearings that wraps around Joyce's chest and back. It's covered with rubber and cloth.
  "If her legs fail she'd drop about two inches, but she can't fall," Hanson says. "When she's walking, it floats with her so it doesn't rub her body."
  The design could allow her to stand up and work at a counter, for example, or she can turn the lever, slip off the support and turn around to sit on the walker's seat.
  Hanson has applied for a patent and is working on how to make the walker out of lighter materials and design it to be effective and safe for people of all sizes.
  In June, The Walker Rescuer won the $1,000 grand prize at the Minnesota Inventor's Congress, as well as the $500 People's Choice award, a gold medallion and the best working model award.
  Hanson says he believes The Walker Rescuer could be used as a recovery tool for wounded veterans as well.
  "It's like having a physical therapist alongside of you," he says. "This walker offers security, freedom and independence."
  He adds that the local Vietnam Veterans of America group supported the project, by contributing $400 for parts to build the prototype.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Grant Hanson, 21334 S. Lakeshore Dr., Glenwood, Minn. 56334 (ph 320 760-1485; grant@safeloader.com; www.safeloader.com/thewalkerrescuer).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #4