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atrc, assistive, technology, resource, center, mqp, walker


Over 41,000 people sustain injuries from falls while using a walker each year. An improved walker design that decreases the chance of falling was developed from background research and mathematical modeling of users' falls. Two improvements were embodied as universal accessories that can be attached to any standard walker. The accessories are lateral leg extensions, which temporarily extend the base of support (BOS) and a tactile and electronics guidance package, which indicates the users' location relative to the BOS. Eight volunteers evaluated and compared the prototype to a standard walker. The prototype reduced the occurrence of stepping outside the BOS by 95%. Overall, the volunteers were more comfortable with the prototype and found it easier to use.



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