Title

Development of an Instrumented Rollator Walker Using an Arduino Based Platform

Author

Jun Fan

Date of Award

1-1-2019

Degree Name

M.S. in Chemical Engineering

Department

Department of Chemical, Materials and Bioengineering

Advisor/Chair

Advisor: Timothy Reissman

Abstract

As the elder population continues to increase in numbers, the usage of walking aids such as canes and walkers will become more prevalent in order for these individuals to remain mobile. Given that a vast majority of present walking aid users have been cited as never receiving clinical guidance or feedback on how they are using such devices, there exists a need to either make such equipment only clinically prescribed or to be instrumented such that feedback can be automatically provided. Else the clinical benefits of such devices may be negated through their misuse. Here we present two major efforts in the development of an instrumented rollator walker for providing direct feedback to its user on their usage. The first is the development of a means to correlate information on the clinically appropriate relative distance of the user's body and feet, as both are commonly assessed for proper positioning while walking. Here we found that through pilot testing with two non-walker users, that the threshold distance for appropriate relative positioning is approximately 0.65m of the user's torso from the anterior bar of their walker. The second describes the development of added features, such as providing on the person feedback in the form of a vibration that indicates if they are in the correct relative position. While this second part still requires future testing with users, it has shown to be operationally ready.

Keywords

Mechanical Engineering, Walker, Rollator Walker, Arduino, Sensors, Remote sensing

Rights Statement

Copyright 2019, author

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