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Smeechi Mittal
Smeechi Mittal • Aug 28, 2012

WalkMate From Tokyo Institute Of Technology Improves Stability Of Parkinson's Affected Patients

Yoshihiro Miyake from Tokyo Institute Of Technology ( Computational Intelligence and Systems Science ) has developed a new walking support device, which he calls 'WalkMate', that is designed specifically for people who suffer from a disturbed pattern of limb movements. This is usually caused as a result of serious diseases such as the Parkinson's. The entire device contains three components - Headphones, a virtual robot (within a PC) and foot sensor. Researchers have aimed to couple the walking of user with the virtual robot using timing of the walking person as robot's sensory input and sound of walking rhythm as robot's output, where the input and output time difference is controlled by an algorithm based on travelling wave dynamics. The rhythmic output of robot helps patients in maintaining stability while moving.

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Walkmate has ben tested with people having healthy gait (proper pattern of limb movement) and the ones having improper gait, suffering from Parkinson's disease or hemiplegia due to brain infraction. Results have shown that the device helps in healthier movement of patients, enabling them to adjust their pace in response to the output sound.

Via: ScienceDaily

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