Design and Experimental Evaluation of a Vertical Lift Walker for Sit-to-Stand Transition AssistanceBy Bulea, Thomas C.; Triolo, Ronald J.; RESNA 2011 Student Design Competition,
Publication Date: April 28, 2011
Paper presents a walker with a novel lifting mechanism designed to provide sit-to-stand assistance to individuals with lower extremity muscle impairments. The prototype walker design is unique in that it does not require any electrical power and provides vertical lift assistance without requiring the user to exert grip force or wear a harness. The base for the device is a four legged walker made of aluminum piping with casters on the front two legs and friction assistant caps on the rear. The user interface is a standard platform commonly found on walkers with manual height adjustment. It is designed to allow users without hand grasp capabilities to walk by placing their forearms on the platform and supporting body weight through the shoulders. A novel pneumatic elevator assembly was designed to lift the platform, with commercially available remote release gas springs chosen as the actuators for the lifting mechanism. Platform motion is guided by self aligning linear bearings, which prevent tilt and hold the platform horizontal. The prototype was tested with a 40-year-old volunteer participant with motor incomplete spinal cord injury under two conditions: with a standard walker and with the lift walker. The duration of the sit-to-stand transition was significantly longer with the standard walker at 3.79 seconds compared to 2.30 seconds for the lift walker. Sit-to-stand transition using the vertical lift walker also resulted in a steadier, more consistent rise. The lift walker was designed by engineering students at Case Western Reserve University and entered in the RESNA 2011 Student Design Competition.
Published by: Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) (Website:http://www.resna.org)
Link to text: http://aac-rerc.psu.edu/wordpressmu/RESNA-SDC/2011/04/28/design-and-experimental-evaluation-of-a-vertical-lift-walker-for-sit-to-stand-transition-assistance-case-western-reserve-university/