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UMINF 12.19

An intelligent rollator with steering by braking

Walking aids such as rollators help a lot of individuals to maintain mobility and independence. While these devices clearly improve balance and mobility they also lead to increased risk of falling accidents. With an increasing proportion of elderly in the population, there is a clear need for improving these devices. This paper describes ongoing work on the development of ROAR - an intelligent rollator that can help users with limited vision, cognition or motoric abilities. Automatic detection and avoidance of obstacles such as furniture and doorposts simplify usage in cluttered indoor environments. For outdoors usage, the design includes a function to avoid curbs and other holes that may otherwise cause serious accidents. Ongoing work includes a novel approach to compensate for sideway drift that occur both indoors and outdoors for users with certain types of cognitive or motoric disabilities. Also the control mechanism differs from other similar designs. Steering is achieved by activating electrical brakes instead of turning the front wheels. Furthermore, cheap infrared sensors are used instead of a laser scanner for detection of objects. Altogether, the design is believed to lead to increased acceptability, lower price and safer operation.

Keywords

Assistive technologies, Rollator, Walker

Authors

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Entry responsible: Thomas Hellstrom

Page Responsible: Frank Drewes
2022-09-30