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walking aid with Phidgets

Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:40 pm
by jpm
We are developing a low cost walking aid for elderly based on a commercialy avaialble frout-wheel Rollator: we add two 150W motors, electromagnetic clutches, 6 ultrasound sensors and 4 IR distance sensors, a 3D accelerometer, 2 encoders, force sensor in the handles, contact switches to avoid obstacle and GPS. Furthermore the elderly may wear a small box with tilt sensors (that are used to detect if he has fallen) and temperature sensor. We have also on board a vacuum cleaner and a pick-up reacher that is actuated, Control is done using the force sensors and the IR sen sensors. Or remotely with an RC control, infrared tv remote set or through the wifi. We use 4 Phidget interface kit, 2 motors Phidget, 2 encoder modules and an on-board fit-pc or an Ekoore tablet pc. The stuff is just wonderful and we have a lot of fun: towing a medical bed with the walker, cleaning our lab with the vacuum cleaner, detecting the fall of the user and have the walker come back close to the elderly for proving support and calling for help (we send a "fall" signal to a Nabaztag that may make a phone call to a rescue center and ask a Rovio robot to investigate while allowing the rescue center to move the Rovio through a web interface in order to investigate the gravity of the fall..)
For this experiment which requires only a relatively low interaction speed the Phidgets and its library are just perfect... :o