Prof. J. Walter - Informationstechnik, Mikrocomputertechnik, Digitale Medien State of Technology
Hochschule Karlsruhe Logo Microcontroller Technology
Intelligent Crutch

2.3 State of Technology

There are already two research works on the Intelligent Crutch. The first paper "Gait Patterns Monitoring Using Instrumented Forearm Crutches" was written by Marien Narvaez and Joan Aranda from the Department of Automatic Control (ESAII), Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain and published in September 2020. The prototype is shown in Figure 2.3.1. This prototype works with the help of strain gauges and inclination angles. With the help of those data, 4 gait patterns could be identified and tthose patterns can be seen in Figure 2.3.2. With the help of these patterns the wrong walking pattern can be corrected. Also, they use a microcontroller for control and Bluetooth for data transmission. This system does not give direct feed back to the patient.

Figure 2.3.1: Electronics Box
Figure 2.3.2: Crutch walking patterns
Source: Computers Helping People with Special Needs - 978-3-642-31534-3 – Seite 402-409

A second research paper "Augmenting forearm crutches with wireless sensors for lower limb rehabilitation" from Geoff V Merrett, Mohamed A Ettabib, Christian Peters, Georgina Hallett and Neil M White, was published in 2010. Figure 2.3.3 shows the prototype. In this work they also used a pressure sensor but the data is shown in horizontal bar format. They also showed the inclination angles of the crutch that they got from a grip position sensor. Also, they used a microcontroller. For data transmission they used Radio. As feedback they used a sound if the uses one side to much. There for the patient can use it without any personal.

Figure 2.3.3: Crutch with exernally attached electronics

  With Support of Prof. J. Walter Summer Semester 2021