StandUp Walker: Innovative Solution to a Mobility Challenge

Posted by Ken Paulus

The StandUp Walker was invented by Howard Liles as an undergraduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During his senior year (2009-2010), Howard and a team of other students embarked on a design project that focused on mobility.

Howard was inspired through a personal tragedy in which his grandmother suffered a severe hip injury due to a fall at home. Seeing her struggle to get up and move around inspired much of the initial design. Recognizing that the basic walker design had not been altered much since the 1960's - Howard and the team began to invent. Upon graduation from MIT in 2010, Howard attended the Georgia Institute of Technology for his masters in mechanical engineering and brought his idea for the next generation walker to Atlanta.

During his time at Georgia Tech, Howard felt compelled to further develop the walker. He engaged the Mobility Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (mobilityRERC) at Georgia Tech and received a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) - a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The mobilityRERC operated an “Inventor-Driven Design" project that allowed inventors to present mobility-related ideas and prototypes for industry feedback and design guidance. The result of this engagement provided Howard with suggested design changes, which he worked on for several months producing multiple iterations.

In 2014, Howard's walker was introduced to Ken Paulus through Edison Nation Medical, with the hope that their team could help commercialize the innovation. After meeting with dozens of patients, caregivers, therapists, retailers, manufacturers and dealers, Ken's team felt that the StandUp Walker could be an industry game changer, and thus a company was formed in 2015. StandUp Walker's team consists of professionals with over 100 years of collective experience within the Durable Medical Equipment (DME), Manufacturing and Financial Sectors. The StandUp Walker is designed and assembled in the USA. Its parent company, URise Products, is a specialty DME manufacturer and distributor. URise Products mission is to provide a higher quality of life through innovative assistive mobility devices that help patients and caregivers avoid unnecessary injury and prolong independent living.

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