Motion Controlled Gait Enhancing Mobile Shoe for Rehabilitation

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Conference Proceeding

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Walking on a split-belt treadmill, which has two belts that can be run at different speeds, has been shown to improve walking patterns post-stroke. However, these improvements are only temporarily retained once individuals transition to walking over ground. We hypothesize that longer-lasting effects would be observed if the training occurred during natural walking over ground, as opposed to on a treadmill. In order to study such long-term effects, we have developed a mobile and portable device which can simulate the same gait altering movements experienced on a split-belt treadmill. The new motion controlled gait enhancing mobile shoe improves upon the previous version's drawbacks. This version of the GEMS has motion that is continuous, smooth, and regulated with on-board electronics. A vital component of this new design is the Archimedean spiral wheel shape that redirects the wearer's downward force into a horizontal backward motion. The design is passive and does not utilize any motors. Its motion is regulated only by a small magnetic particle brake. Further experimentation is needed to evaluate the long-term after-effects.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

2011 IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics