Presentation Title

Testing of a Supporting Orthotic Wheelchair (SOW) for Disabled Quadrupeds

Faculty Mentor

Nina Robson

Start Date

17-11-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

17-11-2018 5:00 PM

Location

CREVELING 49

Session

POSTER 3

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Available dog wheelchairs are expensive stiff, bulky and constrain healthy movements not allowing tilting the dog’s body during sniffing and sitting. In addition, they lack object/stairs-climbing ability. This project is inspired by the four-legged Chihuahua Heidi who suffers erosive immune polyarthritis, resulting in difficulty walking. To alleviate the above mentioned and help Heidi in her daily activities a novel type of supporting orthotic wheelchair is developed and tested.

To understand the key parameters that need to be taken into account, the first step was to study the biomechanics of canine motion. Motion capture data from a healthy dog walking at 0.55 m/s on a treadmill, sniffing, sitting and climbing stairs was obtained. The data analysis supported the existing literature that quadrupeds habitually power locomotion with their hindlimbs and that the dog mechanics of walking resembles a passive stiff-limbed four bar linkage model. Thus, the hypothesis was that developing a wearable wheelchair that incorporates articulated four-bar linkages will allow for a natural body motion and lead to increased comfort.

As a next step, the Supporting Orthotic Wheelchair (SOW) that consists of a six-bar multi-axis mechanism to coordinate the walking, climbing and body tilt motions was developed. Its performance was assessed as compared to the four bar linkage and showed promising results with lower errors. In order to reduce the cost and the weight the wheelchair was 3D printed and experimentally tested. The results showed the hip height of the dog wearing the device lifted up only by 1.2 %. In addition, the motion trajectories of the dog walking with the six-bar wheelchair were within 2% standard deviation compared to the natural healthy trajectories, enabling the desired repetitive body gait, stair climbing and tilt-like patterns. Based on these results, it was concluded that the inclusion of a passive six-bar orthotic mechanism is sufficient for obtaining natural physiological body motions for Heidi’s condition.

Summary of research results to be presented

The results showed the hip height of the dog wearing the device lifted up only by 1.2 %. In addition, the motion trajectories of the dog walking with the six-bar wheelchair were within 2% standard deviation compared to the natural healthy trajectories, enabling the desired repetitive body gait, stair climbing and tilt-like patterns. Based on these results, it was concluded that the inclusion of a passive six-bar orthotic mechanism is sufficient for obtaining natural physiological body motions for Heidi’s condition.

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Nov 17th, 3:00 PM Nov 17th, 5:00 PM

Testing of a Supporting Orthotic Wheelchair (SOW) for Disabled Quadrupeds

CREVELING 49

Available dog wheelchairs are expensive stiff, bulky and constrain healthy movements not allowing tilting the dog’s body during sniffing and sitting. In addition, they lack object/stairs-climbing ability. This project is inspired by the four-legged Chihuahua Heidi who suffers erosive immune polyarthritis, resulting in difficulty walking. To alleviate the above mentioned and help Heidi in her daily activities a novel type of supporting orthotic wheelchair is developed and tested.

To understand the key parameters that need to be taken into account, the first step was to study the biomechanics of canine motion. Motion capture data from a healthy dog walking at 0.55 m/s on a treadmill, sniffing, sitting and climbing stairs was obtained. The data analysis supported the existing literature that quadrupeds habitually power locomotion with their hindlimbs and that the dog mechanics of walking resembles a passive stiff-limbed four bar linkage model. Thus, the hypothesis was that developing a wearable wheelchair that incorporates articulated four-bar linkages will allow for a natural body motion and lead to increased comfort.

As a next step, the Supporting Orthotic Wheelchair (SOW) that consists of a six-bar multi-axis mechanism to coordinate the walking, climbing and body tilt motions was developed. Its performance was assessed as compared to the four bar linkage and showed promising results with lower errors. In order to reduce the cost and the weight the wheelchair was 3D printed and experimentally tested. The results showed the hip height of the dog wearing the device lifted up only by 1.2 %. In addition, the motion trajectories of the dog walking with the six-bar wheelchair were within 2% standard deviation compared to the natural healthy trajectories, enabling the desired repetitive body gait, stair climbing and tilt-like patterns. Based on these results, it was concluded that the inclusion of a passive six-bar orthotic mechanism is sufficient for obtaining natural physiological body motions for Heidi’s condition.