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A new era in pushchair design, have your say.

(38 Posts)
danbeck Tue 02-Dec-03 23:56:35

I am a final year mechanical engineering student who has been given the task of designing a new, user friendly, electrically powered pushchair. If you have any ideas, particular requirements that are not being currently met by your pushchair or any other points of interest please contact me.

Regards Daniel

polly28 Wed 03-Dec-03 01:05:24

I would say my ideal pushchair would have the following;
Be light enough to throw in the boot
Have a decent shopping tray that can support a heavy bag.
beable to hang my handbag on the handle securely
wipeable fabric and cosy too
ergonomic handles for sweaty hands.
folds in an obvious way,easy for husband to do!
can lie baby in different reclining positions
rain and sunproof
connects to the web!

sorry can't see the point in an electric one,I'd have to run after it.

GeorginaA Wed 03-Dec-03 08:04:51

ditto what polly28 said but would add a decent break system that was easily put on by one food or hand and was secure (I really wrestle with my maclaren pushchair's breaks - annoys the hell out of me).

One handed folding mechanism.

misdee Wed 03-Dec-03 09:01:50

the maclearen brakes are annoying. the old sytem they used was ok.

a buggy that doesnt lose it steerability within a few months.

CountessDracula Wed 03-Dec-03 09:21:09

Interchangeable wheels so that one buggy can have little wheels for shopping and pneumatic ones for walking.

A buggy that will fold small enough to fit in boot of car with a large dog!

One where you push a button and it automatically collapses or puts itself up (would obv need a code or something so doesn't happen by mistake with child within)

Easy to remove fabric that can go in washing machine.

Goes flat so can be used from birth

debster Wed 03-Dec-03 10:19:56

Adjustable handles so that people of different heights can use them comfortably.

Easy to fold and carry with one hand while holding a baby in the other.

aloha Wed 03-Dec-03 10:40:41

Adjustable handles would be great. Yes, it should lie flat, be well padded but fold up small. If it is electrically powered it should be very, very quiet though a soothing hum might be good for getting babies off to sleep. Maybe it could have a 'jiggle' setting so you could gentle rock the baby to sleep in it while you sat back with a cup of tea? Would you have to plug it in? Wouldn't it need a really heavy battery? Intrigued!

danbeck Wed 03-Dec-03 11:19:03

I know what you mean about fitting a pushchair in the boot with a big dog, we have two dogs and you can guarantee if you go anywhere with the dogs and a pushchair they all have to squeeze in and end up getting dirty. I'm not sure whether to be offended by Polly28, men can use pushchairs just as well as women, although we do tend to pretend they are go carts and getting everywhere is a competition. lol

The ideas that are mainly being followed up at the moment are the reduce the folded size, use lightweight materials for the chassis, have removalable covers that can be machine washed, the possibility of having an electrically operated folding mechanism to ease of erecting/ collapsing. The idea of adjustable handles is a key area with controls for brakes and any other functions on the handles so there is less bending.

Improved brakes.....hmm...i've been looking at a lot of braking mechanisms for pushchairs, are the maclaren brakes that everyone seems to be annoyed with the sort that you find on a bike on the front wheel or the kind you flip with your foot at the back?

popsycal Wed 03-Dec-03 11:21:59

have only skim read this thread so not sure if this has been mentioned...
a really good thing would be that you could collapse it/put it up with only one hand.....
anyone else agree?

popsycal Wed 03-Dec-03 11:22:28

oops mentioned already

Crunchie Wed 03-Dec-03 12:02:14

How about the opportunity to buy a second piece which attaches to the original pushchair to make it a double buggy?? Thus negating the need to buy a second pram entirely?

Also weighted properly that when you hang a bag of shopping on it it doesn't tip up!! Without being too heavy of course!

popsycal Wed 03-Dec-03 12:06:56

i like that double buggy idea...was thinking of something similar myself!

princesspeahead Wed 03-Dec-03 12:07:05

the kind you flip with your foot at the back are the annoying ones IMO

some sort of hydraulic/electric folding mechanism would be very smart.

Also make sure it can stand up by itself when folded - crucial!

Freddiecat Wed 03-Dec-03 12:26:56

really like CD's idea of the changeable wheels!

OBVIOUS collapsing mechanism so that you don't have to rush in to prevent well-meaning grandparents from breaking your expensive pushchair.

Straps like they have on Mamas and Papas where the back bit can be removed so the child can lean forward.

pupuce Wed 03-Dec-03 13:00:28

I second this : One where you push a button and it automatically collapses or puts itself up

They are ALL feedly and I have tried many!

zebra Wed 03-Dec-03 13:01:48

, picture of Polly28 chasing the chair down the road.

The old-style MacClaran brake that you could put on by just pushing down with your foot was great; the new kind requires a lot of sideways force and it's a right pain; I can't do it with my foot so have to bend down. Husband moans about it, too.

Changeable/replaceable wheels is brill because it's wheels that wear out; even if you could just rotate them 'round, so that they got more even wear.

Head a physio complain that many women use pushchairs that are too short for them. At 104cm, only the MacClaren's are tall enough for me, and at 5'8", I'm hardly that tall.

Otherwise I want lightweight, umbrella folding, durable, easy to clean. We pull pushchair backwards quite a lot, which is handy, and some pushchairs won't be pulled backwards. Don't care about standing after it folds.

Bogwoppit Wed 03-Dec-03 14:30:25

i'd liek it to be fairly narrow to whizz round the shops. Woolies is particularly bad for haveing lots of baskets obscuring the aisles!

perhaps a horn or something to get people to move out of the way - buggy reversing or somethign liek the securicor vans have!!!

I lkie the 2 handled pliko - or hanging my bags on, but my one handled graco is much easier to steer one handed. so something that you can hang bags on, but manouveure easily on handed.

what about a pull out toddler seat so I don't have to invalidate my warranty by using a buggy board?

Demented Wed 03-Dec-03 14:38:57

Easily folded, light and sturdy. I found they are either sturdy and bulky or light and flimsy (I have given up with umbrella buggies as I have broken so many). A decent brake, a water bottle holder for the person pushing the buggy, perhaps some sort of umbrella thing for the person pushing the buggy (almost impossible to hold an umbrella, push a buggy and keep tabs on an older child at the same time), a decent luggage basket, my Mothercare three wheeler is great but the minute you put a changing bag in the bottom it weighs it down so it scuffs off kerbs etc. All these things would come before a motorised buggy for me. LOL at the thought of it taking off by itself!

Blu Wed 03-Dec-03 14:46:47

A built in water pistol for use on bus-drivers who won't let you on when it's p*****g with rain...just so they remember how it feels.

outofpractice Wed 03-Dec-03 14:54:04

Wow! Good for you - a male designer intelligent enough to bother asking some mothers. The major problem with my pushchair (LandRover) was its weight and difficulty in going up and down stairs. On the other hand, it was so sturdy that it went up and down numerous escalators, including on the Tube, and in that respect was much superior to lighter and flimsier models. I was also prepared to pay extra for it because it was so durable and the chassis was guaranteed for the parent's lifetime. It was fairly easy to get in the car because the wheels are detachable. There was also lots of storage space underneath for shopping and baby paraphernalia. I did not find pushing it difficult and so would not be impressed by an electrically powered model. However, if it had a system for going up and downstairs without straining the parent's back, that would really impress me.

lalaa Wed 03-Dec-03 15:22:02

What about a rocking mechanism? I spent days of my life pushing the pushchair backwards and forwards trying to lull dd to sleep. It would be so fab to just push a button and it did it for you!

Blu Wed 03-Dec-03 15:30:29

What's the advantage of having it electrically powered? they aren't generally hard to push, and to my mind, the weight of the mechanism would add to the real pushcair inconveniences...carrying them upstairs, balancing them under one arm, folded, while clamping a wriggling toddler under the other as the bus driver closes the door on you...
Not to tip backwards however many shopping bags you hang from the handles...and without resorting to those heavy weights to put on the front wheels...see above!

Queenie Wed 03-Dec-03 15:55:44

Yes, a rocking mechanism would be great. An electric one would be good for pushing a heavy twin buggy with shopping - I remember nearly dying last year pushing a new baby and heavy toddlet plus tesco shopping up a steep incline. I thought it would help get my figure back!! I just use the car now and suck my belly in

Cha Wed 03-Dec-03 16:33:03

I strongly suggest you check out the kiwi explorer for the single to double to single again option (see for a picture). It's a fantastic buggy, the only drawbacks being the lack of space underneath to get shopping etc in and the cruddy breaks. And no adjustable handles.

suedonim Wed 03-Dec-03 17:08:44

What about a great big flashing red light on the front?? Today someone left their buggy (complete with baby) behind a display in a shop with just the front wheel projecting. I didn't see the wheel, because it was so low down, and tripped over it. I guess I should be thankful I'm not an old lady who might have ended up with a broken hip.

Silver Cross used to do an exchangable wheels system and I think it was MacLaren who had a conversion kit for making a single into a twin buggy.

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