Although there were knee protectors already on the market, the design of the Recoil Kneepad featured a distinctive spring mechanism to allow pivoting and absorption of energy on impact.

Brief

Victoria Hamilton, a graduate in Product Design Engineering at Strathclyde University, came up with an innovative knee protector as part of her final year project. With this new invention the goal was to reduce the risk of osteoarthritis of the knee for workmen and joiners. As a joiner, Vicky's father was the inspiration for her project. Vicky approached i4 in 2013 for support with developing her product through to production. 

Approach

Although there were knee protectors already on the market, Vicky’s design featured a spring mechanism to absorb some of the energy on impact. For this development we made prototypes, incorporating basic mechanical principles, to test the load and springs of the knee pad. Vicky also enlisted help from test labs at Strathclyde University with the impact testing and together we were able to confirm that having the springs did provide an added benefit compared to other pads. User ergonomics were very important in this project since this is an accessory worn by workers - the pad could not restrict their day to day operations. For more information, see the VH Innovation website

Result

The product was launched in 2016 at the National Hardware Show and is currently manufactured in the UK. The kneepads have received excellent feedback so far from Recoil's customer base. Currently the product is being sold online at recoilkneepads.com and we understand Vicky has also received a great deal of interest from from sizeable distributors around the world. We look forward to seeing her company grow with the product sales.  

Working with i4 was great, the team was fantastic in not only carrying out the design work to turn the idea into reality, but also in keeping me involved in the design process and allowing me to put the theory I had learned at university into practice. Working through the design process in detailed stages with clear outcomes to each stage helped to budget the project – which for a start-up is extremely beneficial.

The team were also really supportive of helping me to develop my own manufacturing and mechanical engineering knowledge by allowing me to get the sleeves rolled up and work on some of the stages alongside them – which for me was invaluable experience. I couldn’t recommend i4 enough – they are very approachable, very understanding, and very transparent with costs. They listen to the client and work with the client to develop a product of the highest quality that meets the requirements of the brief

Victoria Hamilton, Founder of Recoil Kneepads

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