Victims of cerebral palsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis and Parkinsons disease often experience a loss of strength and balance as a result of their conditions. This report focuses on the efforts of the Motion Analysis Lab at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital to produce a machine that will help patients with mobility impairing conditions regain at least a portion of their lost function, while reducing the number of therapists involved. With the addition of weight support devices, patients can safely regain much of their mobility. Even after regaining mobility, patients may have developed abnormal gait patterns to compensate for muscles and movements affected by their injuries. The focus of this report is to provide a force field to guide a patient back into normal gait patterns. Force fields are currently used for some aspects of rehabilitation in regards to arm and ankle movement. These devices guide the movement of the patient by providing a resistance force to direct proper movement. This report shows the development of five design concepts based upon customer needs. These five designs were narrowed down to one concept through a concept selection process based on feedback from the project sponsor at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. A commercially available unweighing system (Biodex) will be modified to provide a force field to the pelvis, which is considered to be the center of mass for a human. Resistance forces would be applied in some directions, such as to control the obliquity of the patient, but at the same time, the device will allow for free movement in the uncontrolled translations and rotations of the pelvis.
prototype, force fields, stroke patients
Northeastern University, Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Guidi, Mark; Lo, Ray; Othman, Andy; Paquette, Jeff; and Proulx, Stephen, "Device to Rehabilitate Pelvic Obliquity in Stroke Patients Using Force Fields" (2007). Capstone Design Program: Mechanical Engineering. Paper 52. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d10011419
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