AMRC gives legs to exercise prototype

Written by: Andrew Wade | Published:

Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) has helped a local businessman build a prototype to aid airline passengers with leg exercises.

Active Legs is a compact, lightweight exercise device designed to alleviate some of the aches and pains often experienced by plane passengers, particularly those on long-haul flights. Company founder Adam Yusuf was inspired to create the leg rocking platform over several journeys back and forth between Manchester and Dubai.

“The idea for Active Legs came to me while squashed in economy class for seven and a half hours, unable to do any kind of exercise,” said Yusuf. “I wanted to create a way of exercising the legs and feet using a small, portable device people could take with them on an aeroplane, where weight and space is at a premium.”

As well as helping Yusuf develop his concept and build the prototype, the AMRC has also supported Adam in exploring further potential markets such as the elderly and people with mobility challenges, including those undergoing physiotherapy or rehabilitation. The device is currently awaiting a semi clinical trial with Sheffield Hallam University.

“Adam at Active Legs is a man with an idea who needed some help turning it into a reality. That’s where the AMRC came in,” said Marcus Crossley, senior project manager in the AMRC’s Design and Prototyping Group.

“We worked with him to explore design ideas and various options for materials and manufacturing processes for his foot rocking device. One of the things we’ve worked on in this project is bringing a digital element into the device to track how much movement has been made.

“To take this idea forward, it may be that an app developer or small digital business will be best placed to assist. An important element of the support we can offer to SMEs is signposting. We won’t always be the best people to take the next steps with a business, but we often know who might be, and can put SMEs in touch with different organisations.”

In collaboration the University of Sheffield’s iForge workshop, Active Legs will now take the prototype to the next stage, adding digital functionality that including wireless communication and a proof-of-concept app.

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