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A visual walking guide for those suffering from disorders affecting mobility

Path aims to overcome the ‘fear of falling’ whilst walking felt by many sufferers of diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s, chronic neurodegenerative disorders that often affect mobility. This ‘fear of falling’ can often be as debilitating as the physical limitations of the diseases themselves.

Through the use of visual and tactile cues, the Path system aims to foster greater confidence in the user whilst walking. The tactile cues are based on enhanced proprioceptive feedback via active stimulation through the sole of the foot. Visual cues, in the form of lasers, guide the user and highlight obstacles, level changes such as steps in the user’s path.  Visual cues have been shown scientifically to stimulate movement and together, with the tactile feedback, can aid better balance and posture of the user.

The Path visual walking guide system is being developed by Lise Pape Wates’ Social Enterprise Fellow at InnovationRCA and is based on the work she began whilst studying for her MA at the RCA’s Innovation Design Engineering programme.