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Falling is a huge problem among the elderly. One of the main causes of elderly falling is due to the displacement in one's center of gravity. Some cleaning tasks preformed in the home are dish washing, dusting, sweeping, and mopping. Two of these tasks that offset balance the most are sweeping and mopping. These are the two actions we focused on improving to help seniors maintain independence within the home.
The problem with the traditional broom is that your body has to bend over in order to get under furniture and provide ample reach. This takes the bodies center of gravity out from it's feet, which increases fall risks. Falling is one of the leading causes of loss of dependence for the elderly.
Purus is our solution to elderly falls while cleaning. Purus was designed by a team of 4 industrial design students at Virginia Tech.
Putting a curve in the handle allows the broom and mop to do the bending so the body doesn't have to. This keeps the center of gravity in the appropriate place, allowing the cleaner to maintain an upright and balanced posture.
The Purus mop has the same advantages as the broom. In addition it has the added benefit of being able to effortlessly apply downward force without compromising one's center of balance. This feature comes in handy when the floor needs to be scrubbed or when wringing out the mop head.
The Purus base unit incorporates a spot vacuum and a mop bucket. When sweeping you create piles of dust and dirt. The base unit is then placed on top of a dirt pile which, with the touch of a button sucks the dirt up. This eliminates the cumbersome task of trying to manage a broom and dustpan simultaneously. It also eliminates the need to bend down to sweep dirt into a dustpan. The mop bucket was designed to minimize the amount of water used while mopping, as the majority of water in a mop bucket is just extra weight. The mop bucket incorporates a wedge type squeegy. This allows you to keep both hands on the mop while simply applying a slight downward force which wrings the mop head out. Again, eliminating the need to bend over and deal with the mop and a hand wringing system. The vacuum is charged through induction charging, making it easy to just dock the base unit and leave it to charge.

Purus is a three part cleaning system for the elderly, which includes a broom, mop, and base unit. The broom and mop apply a specific curvature which minimizes center of balance offset, while allowing the tool head to reach under furniture. The handles are made from aluminum providing both strength and lightness.

Accompanying the handles are rubberized grips. These grips are optimized for each task. For example, the grips on the mop help to provide downward force with minimal effort, while the grips on the broom provide a pivot for sweeping motions.