Design and development of a stair specific assistive aid

McNalty, Luke (2018) Design and development of a stair specific assistive aid. [USQ Project]


Living independently is a critical factor used as an evaluation of one's quality of life. The research and development surrounding a suitable mobility aid for supplementing the mobility of humans while walking up and down stairs allows those who suffer disabilities to live a little more independently. This paper conducts an observational analysis on the gait pattern of those traversing stairs with limited mobility drawing a comparison between the unaided performance of the subject and the effects of a developed mechanical knee aid. Within the analysis a direct correlation was drawn between the pain and reduction in mobility experienced in the participants joints while traversing stairs. Following this the project evaluates the effect of a specifically developed assistive knee aid for reducing unused movement during traversing stairs and reducing the stress placed upon the joints. A pilot study was initially conducted determining the feasibility of the research and development surrounding such as device. Having completed this a basic gait analysis was completed using Kinovea, a motion analysis software to determine the typical gait of someone using stairs. This provided the required angles and still moments throughout the process to develop a suitable model of the subject and mechanical knee aid required for simulation and testing. Within the research directed it has been identified that the effects of stairs upon the body increase the peak loading on the knee by approximately 70 percent more than the act of standard walking. This is equivalent to placing 3 times the body weight of the walker on the knee. It was then discovered through the simulation that the developed assistive aid managed to reduce up to 28 percent of the stress on the knee, and 72 percent of the stress on the ankle while traversing stairs. The project concludes that the development of the device was a success from the results obtained however there are further branches of development which would prove beneficial in supplementing the obtained results. Recommendations have been made to investigate the potential of further improvements to the mechanical knee aid such as potential options for adjustment of supplied force by the knee aid.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Snook, Chris
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical)
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2022 03:46
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2023 01:57
Uncontrolled Keywords: mobility; stairs; assistive knee aid

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