Faculty Advisor

Ault, Holly Keyes

Faculty Advisor

Hoffman, Allen H.


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.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2010


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

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