Light-Weight Wearable Gyroscopic Actuators Can Modulate Balance Performance and Gait Characteristics: A Proof-of-Concept Study

B.T. Sterke*, K. Poggensee, G.M. Ribbers, D.S. Lemus Perez, H. Vallery

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

29 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Falling is a major cause of morbidity, and is often caused by a decrease in postural stability. A key component of postural stability is whole-body centroidal angular momentum, which can be influenced by control moment gyroscopes. In this proof-of-concept study, we explore the influence of our wearable robotic gyroscopic actuator “GyroPack” on the balance performance and gait characteristics of non-impaired individuals (seven female/eight male, 30 ± 7 years, 68.8 ± 8.4 kg). Participants performed a series of balance and walking tasks with and without wearing the GyroPack. The device displayed various control modes, which were hypothesised to positively, negatively, or neutrally impact postural control. When configured as a damper, the GyroPack increased mediolateral standing time and walking distance, on a balance beam, and decreased trunk angular velocity variability, while walking on a treadmill. When configured as a negative damper, both peak trunk angular rate and trunk angular velocity variability increased during treadmill walking. This exploratory study shows that gyroscopic actuators can influence balance and gait kinematics. Our results mirror the findings of our earlier studies; though, with more than 50% mass reduction of the device, practical and clinical applicability now appears within reach.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2841
Number of pages15
JournalHealthcare
Volume11
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • wearable robotics
  • balance
  • walking
  • control moment gyroscope
  • postural control
  • falling

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Light-Weight Wearable Gyroscopic Actuators Can Modulate Balance Performance and Gait Characteristics: A Proof-of-Concept Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this