We are very busy developing bits and pieces of COGY to adjust it to individual needs. Starting with longer straps, pedal parts has lots to modify. Another popular modification is front steering system, which we call “Miro handle” (named after a boy whose mother gave me the idea of this handle system).
This is for the people who cannot use the steering handle. At least, by holding onto the bar in front, they can keep their posture upright. Carer can steer from behind, using another stick, while they can feel the direction change by the swing of the bar. it’s also possible to control the direction by looking at where we want to go and swinging the bar to right/left.
In order to provide more than 1 of these system, the problem was, the COGY factory does not supply this direction unit as spare parts. Then we had to make it here. This was trickier than I thought first. But after all, finally it’s all done!
When I told COGY factory that this system is very popular and 3 out of 10 COGY users requested this system, they said “seriously??!!”. Yes, serious. It’s probably because the culture in Japan (where COGY was first designed) and NZ is very different especially in regards to how we include people with physical challenges into our lives.
Our next attempt was, putting a bar (to hold onto in vertical angle) in the middle of the front bar, for controlling direction using a front bar (instead of COGY’s standard system) with less strength. It works well, too.
We are also thinking of something to hold onto with the hand which is not used for steering (when using standard steering system). This is also a common issue which is often requested.
Steering is an interesting part. Many people say "it's very easy to steer" and the others (which is also many) say "it's hard to steer". One of the reasons is, the handle grip is designed to twist for nothing (There is a reason, but the twisting does not make any direction control). Also, the brake lever and wire is on the way of some people with weaker hand control, when they try really hard to reach the handle.
Then I took the lever out. also, I took the twisting movement out, too.
Here, this is the system.
Pedal parts has a lot to add. longer straps for big shoes. Knocked out heel for trainer type of shoes, so that they won’t slip out. Skinnier heel width for wider heeled shoes..
Many people with walking difficulties have difference in the length of the right leg and left. Then we arranged pads to make it up on the pedal of the shorter leg’s side. and it worked fabulous, too.
I am quite amazed, that these simple DIY actually makes a big difference.
Another example of importance of adjusting the equipment to individual size, is, seat cushion. Jaime is very small and her bottom tend to slide forward. One reason is, her legs are rather shorter than the pedal design. but also, I saw her bottom keep on sliding sideways, too. Then I arranged a additional structure on bottom cushion. The result was again, fabulous. not only she did not slip forward, also her pedalling was very strong and stable with this cushion.
Myself (Koko) is not super familiar with engineering. Neither with posture supporting etc. There are so many to learn. and I am enjoying all these.
Next modification idea is, chopping the chain part and make the pedalling system shorter for shorter legs. We usually just use extra cushions on back rest to adjust, but many people with less movement on legs have very short legs. we would like to expand COGY for them.
Another things which has been in my mind for long is, footrest system which user can use when carer pushes COGY from behind, without user synchronising their legs to circuit movement. With this, COGY barrier will be much smaller.
And, electric assist will definitely helps many people, and this is already on our plan.