ASBGo walker

A mobility assistance Smart walker to infer the user's navigations intentions
Walkers play an important role, due to the large number of potential users, with a focus in the elderly, its simplicity and their ambulatory potential. They were designed to improve pathological gait, through a support base for the upper limbs that improves the balance of the individuals and reduces the load on their lower limbs. 

This Research Project aims to develop a robot for mobility assistance that is designed to be used in physiotherapy care centres and indoor houses by people suffering from gait disorders. This device is driven intelligently, through the acquisition and processing of physical parameters gathered from the user when walking with the device. It will investigate adaptation in order to propose an intelligent device that can provide high levels of care for the users, though the identificationof his pathology. Thus, the device will be intelligently personalized for each patient. If the device can understand the users’ walking patterns, his needs and infer his intentions considering direction and velocity it can therefore control the mobility assistance system accordingly. 

In this context, we aim to develop a device:
- to improve the stability of assisted gait of people with physical disabilities, and the elderly.
- to provide for safety, a natural manoeuvrability and should offer a certain degree of intelligence in assistance and judgement;
- transparent control of the walker by the user when walking;
- assisted-needed control of the smart walker;
- identification of gait disorders of patients, which can benefit from this robotic assistance;
- develope a tool to help the physicians in the evaluation of the patiente improvement;

Main contributions include:

i) design and conception of  a smart walker to be integrated in physioterapy centers and homes;
ii) characterization of the assisted human gait, through the processing of the information obtained by the measurement subsystems;
ii) additional safety, by detecting possible falls of the user and the ability to avoid obstacles;
iii) development of robust and intrinsically safe control strategies for an adaptative robotic mobility assistance system;
iv) validation of the smart walker through experiments with users;
v) user-involvement on the design, implementation and validation of the device.

Results include the development of a robot for mobility assistance and monitoring system for the users, an active tool in assisting the pathological human gait.

Projeto cofinanciado pelo Programa de Financiamento a Projetos pelo INR, I. P.

People involved in this research: 
Related publications: 
Martins, M., A. Frizera, C. P. Santos, and R. Ceres, "A Novel Human-Machine interface for guiding Smart Walkers. The NeoASAS Purpose", IEEE-2012 ISSNIP Biosignals and Biorobotics for better and safer living Conference. , Brasil, 2011.
Martins, M., C. P. Santos, and A. Frizera, "Online control of a mobility assistance Smart Walker", 2012 IEEE 2nd Portuguese Meeting in Bioengineering, Coimbra, pp. 1-6, 02/2012.  Download: engbiomedica_mm_mestrado.pdf (319.29 KB)
Martins, M., A. Frizera, R. Ceres, and C. P. Santos, "A Preliminary Tests of Joint Angles Measurements with Wireless Inertial Sensors during assisted gait", Denmark-South America Workshop on Sustainable Technologies, Research and Innovation, Vitória, 2012.
Martins, M., C. P. Santos, A. Frizera, and L. Costa, "Multivariate Analysis of walker-assisted ambulation", 3rd Portuguese BioEngineering Meeting, Braga, pp. 153-156, 2013.
Martins, M., A. Frizera, C. P. Santos, and R. Ceres, "Revisão e Classificação de Dispositivos de Treino e Reabilitação da Marcha Humana", VI Congreso deTecnologías de Apoyo a la Discapacidad IBERDISCAP, Palma de Maiorca, 2011.
Martins, M., C. Cifuentes, A. Dias, V. Schneider, A. Frizera, and C. Santos, "Assessment of walker-assisted human interaction from LRF and wearable wireless inertial sensors", International Congress on Neurotechnology, Electronics and Informatics. Neurotechnix 2013, Portugal, 2013.
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