• How do we interpret our findings to frame an opportunity?

  • Interpreting Our Findings

    The interview with Emma's aunt, Susanna, and the research on sports participation from people with limb amputation or impairment led to the group's interest in making sports more accessible. It is clear that there is a lot of participation and interest in sports and physical activities, but there are many limitations. The study by LimbPower shared that prosthetic limitations, lack of comfort, and a fear of falling are some of the biggest problems in amputee sports participation. Susanna shared that some of the limitations she has experienced are prosthetic limitations, discomfort, cost, waterproofing, and switching between sports. The image below shows Susanna with her different prosthetics she switches between. From the right, they are the biking prosthetic, the walking prosthetic, and then she is wearing her running blade.

  • The most popular sports participated in were swimming, walking, and cycling. Swimming, according to Susanna, if often participated in without prosthetics which explains its popularity, as it is free. Walking is generally participated in daily with the use of a prosthetic. Biking is a sport that is very popular currently and was also an activity that was people were most interested in trying in the future. Biking uses either a specialized biking prosthetic or bike shoe placed on the foot of a walking prosthetic. When biking as an amputee it is necessary that the rider is clipped in because it is very easy for a prosthetic leg to slip out. 

  • Despite the current participation and interest, it was surprising to learn how difficult the process of clipping out of a bike with a prosthetic can be. You can see in the video below and that unclipping requires a certain range of ankle mobility. Without the ability to rotate the foot in this manner, the process requires full dismount from the bicycle. This leaves the rider locked in place. The process can be dangerous should the rider lean to the side of the prosthetic, and often causes a need for assistance when dismounting a bike. 



  • Learning More

    The goal throughout the design experience was to remain as human-centered as possible. To achieve this, we looked to involve Susanna in the process as much as possible. This began with meeting Susanna at her house to learn more details about the process of clipping in and unclipping from a bicycle with a limited range of motion. The video below shows Susanna clipping in the bike. You can see that the process is not too difficult and is able to be performed in the same way shown in the YouTube Video above. 


  • Clipping In
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  • The problems arise during the process of clipping out. In the video below, you can see that Susanna must use a stool, completely remove herself from the bike seat, and then rotate her entire body to unclip. You can see in the video how difficult this process is even on a stationary bike; the process is even more difficult when attempting to unclip while balancing a regular bike. 

  • IMG_0653.mov
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  • Framing the Opportunity

    It is clear from research in the discovery phase that there is a high participation and interest in cycling in the amputee community. However, as Susanna was able to demonstrate, the process of unclipping from a bicycle is very difficult. It can also be dangerous should you lose balance when clipped, and be unable to unclip. This problem affects any lower limb amputees who bike and anyone else with a lack of ankle mobility. Because of this, there is an opportunity to help a large group of athletes with prosthetics by solving the issues with clipping out of bicycles. The solution is creating a more accessible way to clip in and out of a bike. The new bike clip must be easy to use, require no rotational motion, and preferably be released while still moving on a bicycle. Using these guidelines, the design team moved forward with ideation.


This portfolio last updated: 19-Nov-2018 4:42 PM