A Mobile Robot for Self-selected Gait Velocity Assessments in Assistive Environments

Brell, Melina and Frenken, Thomas and Meyer, Jochen and Hein, Andreas
This paper presents a novel idea on how mobile robots can be used to implement mobility assessments in home environments. The demographic change leads to an increasing demand of care, especially for elderly people. Falls are one major problem due to hospital stays, slow recovery time, and subsequent impairments. Assisting technologies from the field of Ambient Assisted Living could offer new diagnostic approaches and provide home assistance. Installing required technologies in a home environment is often difficult and costly. Here, mobile robots provide a new solution to bring sensors and actors into the home environment without any installation. Especially laser range scanners for robot navigation provide several possibilities to perform mobility assessments at home. In this paper results of a self-selected gait velocity assessment done with the aid of a laser range scanner are presented. The results show that it is possible to use a laser range scanner to compute the movement trajectory of a person and several parameters of gait. This offers new possibilities to transfer clinical assessment into the home environment. Mobility assessments in the domestic environment could be used for early and more objective detection of impairments and gait disorders.
06 / 2010
University of Texas at Arlington, USA
Platform for the integration of technology-based health services on health networks