Research objectives and content
Paraplegic individuals are confined to wheelchairs for prolonged periods of time and use wheelchairs as their sole means of transport. Therefore, providing paraplegics with some practical means of independent standing and waLking satisfies the most elementary locomotion requirement as well as the overall rehabilitation objectives. One way to achieve this is to us gait orthoses. While much effort has been focused on reducing energy cost and increasing speed of paraplegic waLking using such orthoses, the practical difficulties associated with the use of the system have been given little attention resulting in few people being able to use these on a daily bases. It is proposed to develop a self assembled modular orthosis system (SAMOS) which would provide paraplegics with independent and easy donning/doffing, easy transportation, and increase efficiency of power transfer from upper limbs to lower limbs. The long term aim would be to incorporate appropriate functional electrical stimulation (FES) strategies into the SAMOS which would offer smooth sit/stand transfers, prolonged functional standing and practical reciprocal walking.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
The expected goal for the research project is to provide improved mobility for paraplegic individuals. I will receive training in Biomechanics, gait analysis and FES from experts in this field. This in combination with my expertise in precision engineering will place me in a relatively high position to tackle this project.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
The Company Steeper (UK) manufacturer of gait orthosis are highly interested in this project.