The Ejector Multi-Socket makes a standard everyday object easier to use, with the main target audience being people with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), a simple but effective system that allows users to eject plug sockets out of a multi-socket by pressing on a paddle was developed. This design can be incorporated into the manufacture of current multi-sockets. One paddle is needed for each socket space. The paddles have been designed so that only two fingers are needed to eject a plug out of the housing. The paddles also have a slot, which allows the cable from the appliance acquiring electricity to be conveniently housed. The slot also allows the plug to be caught when released from the multi-socket. Magnets can be placed on any of the non-occupied sides so that the product can be joined to other objects making the product more accessible. Also if the appliance was not being used for a lengthy period of time the paddle could release (eject) the plug to save on electricity and become safer.
RA affects over 350,000 people in the UK alone, it is most common after the age of 40, but can affect people of all ages. This product will make using plugs easier. This debilitating condition makes it difficult to move around and do everyday tasks; RA is a condition that causes pain, swelling and inflammation in the joints. Initially the hands and feet are affected but any joint may later become affected, so its key to address a person’s immediate needs. With some relatives suffering with this medical problem, it was established that taking a product that is used every day (multi-socket) with regards to office, kitchen and gardening appliances would prove to be beneficial. With many elderly people looking after children (grand children) having the ability to take multi-sockets off the floor and skirting area and place in a higher position out of reach of children takes away potential hazards that could be dangerous and fatal to toddlers.
The Ejector Multi-Socket developed from a research project that investigated the items that people with chronic diseases found difficult to use and operate in and around the home. It was seen that people had problems with simple products that had been designed for people with full capabilities. Bending down, lifting, pushing and pulling were all common areas that adults with disabilities found an inconvenience. With most products requiring electricity and *plugging in*, a prototype of the Ejector Multi-Socket was made and tested by various people with RA and also those who use a multi-socket regularly, which gave much positive feedback. The project has undergone finite element analysis to test appropriate materials and also the forces involved over time. Research into user safety has been completed as electric currents are involved. A red light was added on each plug mount, which turns on when the plug is connected. This semiotic helps users know when the plug is safe to handle.