Research press release


Scientific Reports

Biomedical engineering: A robotic solution to keeping your balance

不意に転倒しかけて体のバランスを崩した時に体勢を立て直す力を補助するロボット装具について説明するSilvestro Miceraたちの研究グループの論文が、今週掲載される。Miceraたちは、この装具が高齢者の転倒防止に利用できる可能性があると考えている。



A wearable robotic device that can help people recover their balance after they slip unexpectedly is described in Scientific Reports this week. The authors suggest that this device could be used to help prevent falls among the elderly.

Silvestro Micera and colleagues describe a robotic exoskeleton device called the Active Pelvis Orthosis (APO) that, using an algorithm, can detect a loss of balance and supply a counteracting torque at the hips to assist balance recovery. Eight participants (with an average age of 68.9) and two transfemoral (above the knee) amputees were involved in trials with and without the APO. Participants were asked to walk at their preferred speed on a custom-built treadmill (while wearing a safety harness) that produced movements designed to cause slips. The authors found that stability against falls improved when the participants were wearing the APO due to the “assisting when needed” behaviour of the device. The authors note that their results must be confirmed in additional subjects.

The authors suggest that their findings demonstrate the potential of wearable robotics to assist the elderly and disabled during slippage events, thus potentially improving their quality of life.

doi: 10.1038/srep46721


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