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23 October 2001 Adaptive mobility aids for the elderly
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Proceedings Volume 4512, Complex Adaptive Structures; (2001)
Event: Complex Adaptive Structures, 2001, Hutchinson Island, FL, United States
Loss of mobility in the elderly causes a significant economic burden to caregivers and is one of the most significant determinants of depression and loss of muscle strength and productivity in this age group. Mobility aids can assist with locomotion by providing physical support, however they fail to provide direction guidance and avoidance of obstacles and hazards. This talk will focus on design of intelligent adaptive wheeled walkers. By allowing the user varying degrees of control, from complete to collaborative, these walkers afford the user with the feeling of control, while helping to increase the ease and safety of their daily travels. The control systems of these walkers differ from those of other mobility aids and mobile robots because they must both assist in mobility and provide balance and support, but also give directional aid if necessary. These functions must be performed in a tight loop adaptation with a human whose input may be difficult to predict. Through the use of a wheeled walker equipped with force and sonar sensors, we were able to develop an intelligent self-guided mobility aid that can provide improved independence, autonomy, and quality of life for the elderly.
© (2001) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Glenn Wasson, James Gunderson, Michael Cvetanovich, Steven Kell, S. Graves, and Robin A. Felder "Adaptive mobility aids for the elderly", Proc. SPIE 4512, Complex Adaptive Structures, (23 October 2001);


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