Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Walking Support for Improved Mobility and Independence

Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Abstract: The elderly commonly rely on canes and walkers for balance and gait support. Similarly, crutches are commonly used after injury. All of these devices are cumbersome, force unnatural gait patterns, and greatly limit our arms. The goal of this project is to design a passive assistive device that will provide moderate support to users during gait, while not restricting arm use. Several exoskeleton designs have been proposed in research, but they tend to be heavy and actively controlled (i.e. with motors). They also are difficult to don and doff, which does not make them very user friendly. Being heavy, bulky, and uncomfortable causes the user to expend more energy wearing the exosuit leading to more issues down the road. Passive exosuits using soft materials rather than rigid components have surfaced in the industry improving the mobility of the abled bodied user, but not the people who actually need such help. Our team believes we can implement semi-rigid passive exosuits into the elderly community creating a more comfortable experience while still maintaining proper gait and balance.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View