Shonaquip Madiba2 Buggy
The development of the Madiba2Go Buggy was undertaken as a redesign of Shonaquip’s original Madiba Buggy, which consisted of a fibreglass bucket seat internally padded with foam that could be shaped to conform to the end-user’s postural needs and mounted on a basic metal box frame with wheels.
The requirements for the redesign of Madiba2Go Buggy were to take the best qualities of the original Madiba Buggy and improve the usability and functionality to make it easier for all users to work with the device.
Additional requirements included being compact to package for shipping and easily transportable in daily use, yet robust enough when assembled to withstand the challenges inherent in functioning in low-resourced rural settings in Southern Africa. Within these user and contextually determined parameters the buggy had to provide intermediate level postural support in-line with contemporary practices as promoted by the WHO, in an easily adjustable and customisable seating system.
The Madiba2Go Buggy has a light weight modular seating system, which is detachable from the base frame and can be fine tuned through multiple adjustments in depth, width, height and angle in order to effectively manage and improve the posture of each individual end-user. Crucially, these aspects of the design when correctly set up help to reduce and prevent the development of serious life threatening secondary health complications.
Along with postural support, the seating system's structure has been designed in such a way that the thin profile of the seat structure becomes almost invisible once the child is seated, shifting the visual focus to the child and enabling better socialisation and inclusion.
A rugged base frame with thick hard wearing wheels offers a sturdy and foldable foundation onto which the seat attaches via quick-release plates. The frame folds completely flat for easy storage and transportation, while still maintaining it’s strength and maneuverability.
After 18 months of development the Madiba2Go Buggy was launched, as presented in the accompanying images. The development was undertaken with input from seating practitioners at every assessment step in the process in cycles of rapid physical prototyping and testing. This in conjunction with field testing with end-users yielded a wealth of information that translated into the final design of the buggy.
The buggy is currently being further refined to improve reliability and ease of use as it starts to be shipped to countries outside of South Africa.