The innovative FROG walker was inspired by careful observation of gait training in the therapy of children with Cerebral Palsy in Singapore.
The FROG walker concept, previously called LeapFrog, was developed as a thesis project by Donn Koh at National University Singapore (NUS) in collaboration with Cerebral Palsy Association Singapore. It aimed at making gait training more effective, self-directed and productive. After graduation, Donn submitted the design concept for design awards and garnered international acclaim by winning 3 major international design awards: Grand Winner of 2007 Braun Prize, Winner of Red Dot Concept 2007, and Winner of IF Concept Award 2008.
FROG has also been recognized in by Minister Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan as an exemplar of Singaporean Design:
“The NUS Industrial Design graduate, Mr. Donn Koh, became the first Singaporean, indeed the first designer trained in Asia to win one of the world’s most coveted design prizes – the International Braun Prize.”
After the awards NUS has been receiving hundreds of emails from interested buyers, many of whom are parents of children with Cerebral Palsy. They commonly cite that the device was unique and different from conventional walkers currently available in the market. They wanted to purchase the device for their children.
In 2013, XentiQ Partners licensed the concept from NUS with the intention to conduct additional research, develop a fully functional prototype, and test it in field trials. This is what we have been doing in the last two years.
In the first stage of technical development, it was necessary to develop an effective weight compensation and transition mechanism which can be autonomously deployed by the children for seating. Early prototypes were built, tested in actual field trials and then further improved. Once the weight compensation and transition function was achieved, a patent in Singapore, USA and Europe were to be filed. Through the testing of multiple prototypes valuable insights were gained adding more features to the device resulting in a more complete product available today.
Comments and inputs from clinicians, therapists and users involved have reinforced our belief that there is a need for such a product for gait training. XentiQ Partners is now close to a commercially viable product and we are now looking for selected clinical partners and end users to further validate the use of the Frog walker. Contact us if you would like to participate in these limited trials.