NUS Prodigy Innovates Lightweight Assistive Walker for Senior Dogs
In a remarkable stride towards enhancing the quality of life for senior and mobility-impaired dogs, a National University of Singapore (NUS) student, Chong Zi En, has designed a durable yet lightweight assistive walker.
Humanitarian Design with a Canine Twist
This heartening innovation is the brainchild of the 26-year-old NUS student, offering a new lease on life for senior pups and those with mobility impairments.
Chong Zi En: The Man Behind the Mission
Chong’s journey to assist mobility-impaired dogs was sparked during his national service at the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Military Working Dog Unit.
The struggles of lifting a senior Malinois’s weak hind legs for a walk highlighted the need for such a device. That memory stuck with him and later inspired his revolutionary project.
The Ideation and Realization of the Project
Chong’s research started with an examination of existing mobility aids for dogs and discussions with owners of handicapped dogs to comprehend their needs and experiences better.
Unveiling the Inadequacies of the Existing Aids
Through active community involvement, interaction with animal physiotherapists, and participation in dog walks, Chong discovered that current canine wheelchairs are usually custom-made and quite expensive. Their hefty weight also hampers the dog’s mobility experience.
Introducing Paw Wheels: A New Era of Mobility
In a quest to rectify these issues, Chong has ingeniously designed Paw Wheels. This assistive walker is not only cost-effective but also lightweight, adjustable for dogs of varying sizes, and ensures a comfortable, secure experience for its users.
Paw Wheels employs optimized 3D-printed joineries and aluminum tubes in its design. This makes it not only lightweight but also sturdy and sustainable.
User-Friendly and Sustainable Innovation
Additionally, the walker’s design allows for a single person to easily strap the dog in a set of harnesses. As such, Chong’s invention is a sustainable product that can be handed down to other needy dogs of different sizes.
Chong’s Future Endeavors
Currently, Chong is on the hunt for grants and support to facilitate further product development. His future aspirations include making the walker foldable and promoting animal welfare through this socially-driven project.
Paw Wheels and Animal Welfare
Chong envisions Paw Wheels helping rescued animals and giving all dogs with mobility issues a renewed sense of independence. Simultaneously, it would alleviate the mental and financial burdens on their caretakers.
Showcasing Paw Wheels at NUS Division of Industrial Design Graduation Show
Witness this revolutionary design at the NUS Division of Industrial Design graduation show, “Design in Flux”. The exhibition is open to the public at 8 Architecture Drive, SDE, Level 5, on Jun. 9 from 4 pm to 9 pm and on Jun. 10 – 11 from 11 am to 8 pm.