Originally posted by Max:
Cheap modifications make use of crutches and wheelchairs easier for Japanese
By NHK News Exchange
Japanese manufacturers have come up with new ways to make crutches and wheelchairs much easier and safer to use.
And in more good news, these devices are cheap to produce and can fit most existing crutches and wheelchairs.
Moving down steps can be quite an uphill task for those who need crutches.
But with specially-tipped crutches that prevent the user from slipping, such users will have nothing to worry about anymore.
The tips of the crutches are made of rubber and are attached to a flexible spring to give the crutches a firm footing on slopes and uneven surfaces.
The cost is about US$40 per pair.
The product was developed by a manufacturer in Tokyo about two years ago.
A normal crutch can easily lose its grip on a wet surface, but the newly-modified crutch solves this problem.
Eight-year-old Katsuma Takenawa used to rely on wheelchairs because he tended to slip when he was using his old crutches.
But thanks to his new ones, Katsuma can now move about freely.
"I hardly slip now. I can walk much more than before," he said.
At Aichi prefecture, a community group is also making news after it recently developed a device to help wheelchairs go up slopes.
This device keeps a grip on the wheel each time it moves forward, preventing the wheelchair from slipping back.
The US$20 modification also includes another improvement to allow the wheelchair to move easily up to various raised surfaces.
One of the creators said: "We came up with this device so that people in wheelchairs can move safely over things, such as railway crossings."
The invention allows the wheelchair to go over obstacles that are up to 6.5 centimetres in height, making it easier for wheelchair users in both urban and rural environments.
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