Interaction between a motorized walker and its user: effects of force level on within-stride speed and direction fluctuations

Wen Liang Yeoh, Ping Yeap Loh, Seiji Saito, Satoshi Muraki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Motorized walkers are among assistive devices that are currently in development that aim to help older adults maintain their independence, which is of growing importance in today’s ageing world. However, motorized walkers attempt to combine two different modes of generating forward motion: the user’s bipedal gait and the motorized walker’s wheel-driven locomotion. In contrast to the uninterrupted propulsion and continuous motion of wheel-driven locomotion, bipedal gait is cyclical, whereas propulsion occurs mainly in the push-off phase and the velocity and position of its center of mass oscillate within each gait cycle. This study aimed to explore the consequence of combining these two incompatible modes by investigating the effects of different force magnitudes applied by the motorized walker on the within-stride fluctuations generated from interactions with its user. When a constant force is applied by a motorized walker, regardless of whether the force is assistive or resistive, the magnitudes of the within-stride speed and directional fluctuations during the steady-state use increase as the magnitude of the applied force increases. The increase in fluctuations may be attributed to the conflict between the cyclical nature of walking and the continuous force applied.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Ambient Intelligence and Humanized Computing
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)

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