Finalist 2023

Aucuro Walking Stick

Aucuro

The Aucuro Walking Stick is a stylish, ergonomic and functional mobility aid designed to allow people to move with confidence.

The Aucuro Walking Stick is a stylish, ergonomic and functional mobility aid designed for individuals who want to move with confidence. It features a finely crafted American walnut handle, height adjustable streamlined shaft, and medical grade pin lock system. Aucuro has created a tool for mobility that people can be proud of.

Design Brief:

Many people delay purchasing a walking stick due to the stigma and utilitarian designs that meet medical device standards, often leading to falls resulting in injury or greater disability. Early adoption of a walking stick is a preventative healthcare measure eliminating or delaying the need for greater mobility assistance, reducing the load on the healthcare system.

Walking sticks are one of the few products that have reduced in quality and style over the last 200 years. Aucuro is looking to bring the quality and style back by combining traditional craftmanship with the latest manufacturing technology and materials to produce a walking stick people can be proud of.


This project was developed by:

Design Process

The Aucuro Walking Stick was developed over three years and has been designed to meet strict Australian Standards. Many prototypes were used to assess the usability and ergonomics leading to various iterations to the shape and material of the handle. Leather over metal and wood (American Walnut) were explored for the handle. Finally after prototyping each type it was decided through use and testing that a wooden handle offered superior robustness and longevity and met the requirement of having a timeless aesthetic.

To fulfil the desire to have a shaft with a minimalist tapered aesthetic without visible adjustment holes, a significant engineering challenge was undertaken. A solution was required where the 2 shafts were rigidly held but still able to be smoothly and easily adjusted for different height people. The final solution was to custom shim every individual stick using a proprietary shimming system in combination with piston technology developed by Aucuro.

The unique form is Design registered in Australia (Design 202213012) and also has a Chinese Design Patent ZL 202230788956.8

Design Excellence

The Aucuro Walking Stick has been uniquely designed and engineered from the ground up, to deliberately remove the visible utilitarian features on traditional medical grade walking sticks, for example visible height adjustment holes and bulky shaft interlocking mechanisms to create a minimalist stylish form. The design seamlessly transitions from the handle to the tapered top shaft down to a thinner bottom shaft. Aucuro’s walking stick offers eight points of adjustment providing a height range of 77.7cm - 91.7cm. A pin lock system is integrated to be flush to the top shaft to ensure a streamlined aesthetic with hidden adjustment holes. The design meets stringent class 1 medical device standards (B.S. EN 1985:1999 Walking Aids - General requirements and test methods, ISO 11334.1:2007) without compromising the aesthetic. The precision sliding fit of the locking pin creates a tight fit. Loose fitting pins on traditional aluminium walking sticks results in an irritating ticking noise.

The handle is carefully crafted and hand finished from American walnut which departs from traditional low-cost 2D profiles easily machined in timber. Instead Aucuro's design prioritises ergonomics and has a fully 3D contoured shape for ultimate comfort and ensuring a firm grip. The handle tapers from being narrow at the front to a wider more supportive rear to spread the load over the palm. The cold drawn bottom shaft constructed from robust aircraft grade 7075 Aluminium is individually shimmed for a precise tailored fit into the top shaft, eliminating bulky shaft retaining mechanisms.

Design Innovation

Aucuro's unique design sets a new standard of quality for adjustable medical grade walking sticks with an uncompromising aesthetic. It's worlds first engineering solution for shaft fitment utilising shimming in combination with piston ring technology allows for a minimal aesthetic whilst maintaining an extremely rigid construction for maximum stability.

Design Impact

Walking sticks are one of the few products that have reduced in quality and style over the last 200 years. There is currently very little choice when it comes to adjustable height walking sticks, most are low cost and low quality clinical products, that resort to mimicking real wood grain with printed images of wood cleverly applied only to be revealed later through rapid wear. Many people who could benefit from a walking aid delay getting a walking stick due to the stigma and utilitarian designs that meet medical device standards, often leading to falls resulting in injury or greater disability. Early adoption of a walking stick is a preventative healthcare measure eliminating or delaying the likely need for greater mobility assistance, helping to reduce the load on the healthcare system. Aucuro has brought back the quality and style by combining traditional craftmanship with the latest manufacturing technology and materials so people can be proud to carry an Aucuro walking stick.

From an environmental perspective, re-use is at the heart of an adjustable walking stick, over the products lifespan it can be utilised by many different height people extending it's lifespan, combined with recyclable materials like aluminium. It has a replaceable natural rubber tip which is an industry standard size making finding replacements in the future easier. The combination of these features and a timeless minimalist aesthetic ensures the Aucuro walking stick can be used by future generations.

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