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Extensive investigations of the worldwide market via internet and trade journal investigations did not reveal a single product remotely similar to Walkodile. The main innovation within this unique product is its general configuration and its ability to link children together safely via a semi-rigid assembly. The main design targets were as follows: • To create a product that effectively, safely and reliably link children together in groups of 2 or 4 • To create a product that was light weight and ‘fun’ for pre-school children to want to wear • To create a product that would withstand the rigours of repeat use within the nursery environment • To create a cost-effective product that did not compromise on child safety yet that could be manufactured and sold to nurseries An overriding constraint was working within a limited budget for design and prototyping based on the limited resources and experience in new product development of the client company. The logistical potential difficulties in manufacturing abroad (typically China) was not therefore appropriate. The final design demonstrates a highly innovative approach to addressing all of the targets. The product offers visual appeal (as endorsed by the children who now use it) and safe and easy to use functionality (as endorsed by the nursery supervisors who operate it). A carefully managed programme of three dimensional computer aided design and advanced prototyping development was undertaken. These prototypes had to be of a high order in order to withstand exhaustive testing by the Institute of Consumer Ergonomics and the testing house STR UK Ltd and to gain an endorsement by RoSPA. Winner, British Invention of the Year 2007 Winner British Design of the Year 2007 Winner, Shell European Safety Exchange 2005/06 Winner, Grampian Business Enterprise Awards 2007 Currently Finalist in Nursery Supplier/Innovator of the Year 2007 A child safety product that allows up to 6 pre-school children to be linked together while taking them for walks/visits Commissioned by Red Island Ltd Registered Designs EU 79041-0001, 367420-0001 & GB3011881 & US Design Patent USD540988S


RAE 2008, UoA 63 Art and Design



Research Institute