Folding Portable Walker with an Integrated Lifting Function (Tonee Lift II)

Project number: 
Tonee Lift
Academic year: 
The Tonee Lift walker helps patients with spinal fusion and other low-mobility conditions lift objects from the floor, greatly increasing their independence. In addition to the lifting functionality, the walker has a sweeper arm for pushing objects from the floor onto the lifting plate.

This team was tasked with turning earlier prototypes and models of the Tonee Lift walker into a more durable, user-friendly and market-ready product. The design requirements presented several engineering challenges: improving walker center of gravity, overcoming friction in the lift with a 25-pound load, making the lifting plate foldable, and controlling the descending speed of the lift with a 25-pound load.

The students built the Tonee Lift II walker out of aluminum, including 1-inch tubing and sheet metal to meet a weight requirement of less than 40 pounds and designed a component that lifts a maximum 25-pound object from the floor to 3 feet. The team incorporated bearings and a gearbox with a clutch. To prevent beyond-range motion, the design includes switches at the minimum or maximum position to open the circuit and cut the power to the motor. A current limit circuit cuts motor power when the load on the lift is too heavy. And, an off-the-shelf product indicates battery charge.

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