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Fall 2017

Sponsored by UCLA and VentureWell


Team: Margaux Reynolds, Jikke van Giffen, Skyler Coppenrath, Alberto Esses


The goal of this project was to re-imagine the walker as a mobility device with superior function and user experience that enables freedom.

What is the future of mobility within the aging population?


The aging population is increasing.

Aging, But Not Old

Our user population is youthful and active.  They don’t feel "old" or identify with aging. They value aesthetics, therefore they don’t see themselves with the existing walker. 

Source: Advanced Style

The new 50-plus has fashionable aspirations, a youthful attitude and more money to spend than previous generations. (Source: Stylus)

Primary Research


Rollators impact not only the user, but also caregivers and physicians.  We interviewed various stakeholders to understand the various painpoints from their different perspectives.  


"Mother refused to use her walker. It made her feel old.  Tried to decorate it with stickers."

Physical Therapist

"Rollators often wheel away when the user stands up or sits, risking falls."

Primary User

"It's difficult to traverse different terrain.  Outside the walker rattles you to death."


Various members of our team spent a week using a walker, in order to build empathy and understanding from the perspective of the user.

Design Criteria

From our research, we aimed to improve different aspects of user experience and 

lifestyle: performance, portability and aesthetics.  We organized our insights by developing a concept pyramid, where we prioritized these areas of our design.


Using the walker is difficult outside because the wheels rattle and the brakes are not strong enough.


Getting the rollator into and out of a car requires assistance, minimizing user independence.

Social Stigma

The current rollator makes the user feel old.  Which means they are less eager to use it, risking safety.


Lio uses a number of shock absorbing materials and pressure sensing safety features, suited to make braking easier and provide a smoother journey.

Ergonomic Handles

with assistive braking for limited dexterity

Rear Disc brakes

8-inch Wheels

Handle rough terrain

and uneven surfaces

3D Printed Pattern

Shock absorption, weight reduction

3D printed frame

The frame is composed of a 3D printed area made from ABS plastic surrounded in silicone, a flexible material. Cut-outs allow space for bending while maintaining structural strength which, in combination with the wheels, provides shock absorption.

Two-way folding

Lio can fold in two ways: from the center and in height, as the handles fold down into the frame, so that it folds down to1/4 of its size.  The handles secure into the frame. This makes Lio easier to lift and store in the back of a car.

Nobody wants to be anybody


Lio is designed to be a modular system, to give users more choice over aesthetics.

Many parts can be made in different colors and styles for user customization based on style and capability.

Press in Fast Company

Click the photo (right) to read the article.

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