h a l f b a k e r y
"My only concern is that it wouldn't work, which I see as a problem."
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Zimmer frames are ok on level ground, but once they encounter any kind of steep incline they become problematic. This is because they remain at right angles to the incline, whilst the user does not, as they need to lean forward in order to ascend the slope.
The answer is to make the legs adjust automatically
to the change in the inclination of the ground. When going uphill, the back legs would lengthen slightly, and when descending, they would retract.
A simple mechanically released piston system within each of the legs would enable the user to make the necessary adjustment, the compressed air being stored in lightweight cylinders contained within the frame, and recharged each day after use.
An adept user would therefore also be able to negotiate a crab like motion at right angles to a steep slope, such as would be necessary to remain upright when crossing one of the severe hills in San Francisco for example.
Taken to the extreme, a "low-rider, car suspension system, pogo action" would be possible, leading to the potential for creating a choreographed Zimmer Frame Ballet Sequence.
Zimmer Frames (walkers) at wikipedia.org
For those who don't know what a Zimmer Frame is (like me). [phoenix, Apr 24 2010]
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|Bun withheld pending explanation of how the Zimmer frames
will generate torque about a vertical axis. Otherwise, how'll
|The title is great (imagines OAPs doing ballet at a snailpace), but the idea doesn't match. Anyway, the frame could be constructed from pivots in a parallelogram arrangement with wire rope on pulleys from corner to corner and a hand brake on the rope to lock it at an angle.