Research and Development of the "sure Foot" Crutch Tip

Period of Performance: 09/01/1985 - 05/31/1986


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Richmond Combined Enterprises, Inc.
Richmond, IN 47374
Principal Investigator


This project will result in a significantly safer, longer wearing crutch tip that will contribute to the self-sufficiency of its handicapped users. The "Sure-Foot" will be a highly marketable product that enables Richmond Combined Enterprises to employ and train additional handicapped workers. The "Sure-Foot's" unique configuration and internal pivot assembly automatically levels its large base flat against all surfaces--even at frequently applied acute angles that bring only 15 percent of the conventional tip's edge in contact with the ground. Before the "Sure-Foot" is marketed, however, Phase 1 research must 1) reconfigure it to eliminate its tendency to catch under open doors, 2) design a new pivot assembly that will not jolt the user and cause discomfort, and 3) identify optimal compounds that accommodate the "Sure-Foot's" relatively complex movements while maintaining durability and a high friction coefficient. Phase 1 will also 4) create a fixture to test evolving and final Phase 1 prototypes as a model instrument for extensive testing in Phase 2. 5) All Phase 1 research will be informed by a background study on prosthetic devices and their uses, which, with a review of market-relevant information, will help articulate the testing and marketing research of Phase 2.