Date of Award

Summer 8-23-2019

Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Language

English

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Vincent Caccese

Second Committee Member

Babak Hejrati

Third Committee Member

Elizabeth Depoy

Abstract

Afari is a mobility device that was designed to be more recreational, aesthetic, and functional outside than the typical mobility devices commonly used today such as walkers, crutches, and rollators. The Afari transfers weight from a user through the arm rests and enforces an upright posture while walking with correct adjustments to the arm rest height. In addition to assisting with walking or running, a sensor system fitted to the Afari device has been designed to analyze different aspects of activity tracking such as the dynamic loading applied to the arm rests, spatial-temporal gait parameters, speed, and distance. This includes various sensors, namely, load cells for each arm rest, an inertial measurement unit, and a speed and distance sensor that wirelessly transmit data via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to either a smartphone or computer. The total distance, pitch angle, right and left loading on each armrest can be viewed in real time by the user. An algorithm was created in MATLAB to process all the raw data and compute cadence, stride length, average toe-off and heel strike angle, swing and stance time, and speed over the duration of active use. An Afari user can monitor these different aspects of their activity and adjust accordingly to potentially improve their balance or gait.

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