We’ve seen some innovative free-standing personal mobility aids designed to tackle stairs in recent times, but this offering from a young UK inventor takes a fresh approach to a solution that's been around for years - the mechanical stair-lift. Conceived by Ruth Amos when she was just 16 years old, the StairSteady is a handrail with a unique steadying handle and locking device that supports the user whilst on the staircase while allowing them to remain active and independent.

The StairSteady is a compact unit that is fixed to the wall on either side of the steps. If weight is applied to the handle - it will lock - which gives users extra support when ascending and descending the stairs. When not in use, the handle simply folds away parallel to the wall - so other family members or house guests are able to use the stairs unobstructed. It has been tested to 25 stone and there is an option to include a dog leg so it can complete a 90 or 180 degree turn if the building has two short flights which are joined by a half-landing.

This mobility aid is designed to keep the user fit and active and is also suitable for people recovering from sports injuries or those requiring rehabilitation. It can be modified to suit households with more than one person requiring mobility support by including two handles on a single rail.

Amos was inspired by the story of her teacher’s father who had suffered a stroke and was supposed to exercise but was unable to use his stairs. She won the British Young Engineers Annual Celebration of Engineering in 2006 for the StairSteady and established her StairSteady business shortly afterwards.

The unit is available with a standard rail for EUR472.65.

StairSteady via Make.