World Haptics Conference (2009)
Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Mar. 18, 2009 to Mar. 20, 2009
Allison de Groot , Biomedical Engineering Department, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
Ryan Decker , Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics, Johns Hopkins University, USA
Kyle B. Reed , Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics, Johns Hopkins University, USA
Individuals with certain types of central nervous system damage, such as stroke, have an asymmetric walking gait. Using a split-belt treadmill, where each leg walks at a different speed, has been shown to help rehabilitate walking impaired individuals, but there is one distinct drawback; the corrected gait does not transfer well to walking over ground. To increase the gait transference to another environment, we designed and built a passive shoe that admits a motion similar to that felt when walking on a split-belt treadmill. Our gait enhancing mobile shoe (GEMS) alters the wearer's gait by causing one foot to move backward during the stance phase while walking over ground. No external power is required since the shoe mechanically converts the wearers downward and horizontal forces into a backward motion. This shoe would allow a patient to walk over ground while experiencing the same gait altering effects as felt on a split-belt treadmill, which should aid in transferring the corrected gait to walking in natural environments.
R. Decker, K. B. Reed and A. de Groot, "Gait enhancing mobile shoe (GEMS) for rehabilitation," World Haptics Conference(WHC), Salt Lake City, UT, USA, 2009, pp. 190-195.