Wearable fall prevention to reduce falls for the ageing society
Themes: Life Science & Health, Robotics
Early lab scale demonstration
A TRL is a measure to indicate the matureness of a developing technology. When an innovative idea is discovered it is often not directly suitable for application. Usually such novel idea is subjected to further experimentation, testing and prototyping before it can be implemented. The image below shows how to read TRL’s to categorise the innovative ideas.
Reducing falls is an urgent challenge in ageing societies, as falls are among the most frequent causes of hospitalization and death among the elderly. A key factor leading to falls is degraded balance control.
We propose a minimalistic, backpack-like solution for balance assistance that is based on a gyroscope assembly coupled to the upper body. By exploiting the effect of several control moment gyroscopes (CMGs), the required support is generated in the case of loss of balance. Here, we study technical feasibility of this approach using a single CMG mounted on an inverted pendulum (IP).
We expect to start first experiments with human subjects by the end of this year, and with a small number of patients throughout 2015. We are also exploring commercialization opportunities of the system.
Dr. ing. Heike Vallery