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Research Papers

Modification of the ICARE System for Pediatric Therapy

[+] Author and Article Information
Carl A. Nelson, Cale J. Stolle

Department of Mechanical and
Materials Engineering,
University of Nebraska–Lincoln, W342 NH,
Lincoln, NE 68588-0526

Judith M. Burnfield, Thad W. Buster

Movement and Neurosciences Center,
Institute for Rehabilitation Sciences and Engineering,
Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital,
5401 South Street, Lincoln, NE 68506

Manuscript received February 28, 2015; final manuscript received March 23, 2015; published online August 6, 2015. Editor: Gerald E. Miller.

J. Med. Devices 9(4), 041010 (Aug 06, 2015) (6 pages) Paper No: MED-15-1032; doi: 10.1115/1.4030276 History: Received February 28, 2015

Effective gait therapy is critical to children who have difficulty walking due to developmental, neurologic, or orthopedic conditions. Current gait training technologies can be cost prohibitive and often do not address the needs of children of varying sizes. In addition, clinicians often need to provide significant physical assistance to children with profound weakness. Based on the success of an elliptical-based adult-sized intelligently controlled assistive rehabilitation elliptical (ICARE) system for gait training, a modified technology was proposed to address the needs of younger/smaller children. The new design relied on a screw-and-slider joint to adjust the effective length of the crank link in the elliptical mechanism, reducing the step length and stride height simultaneously. The new trajectories of the foot pedal were normalized against stride length and showed nearly identical trajectories between pediatric strides and adult strides. Simulation results and human usability studies verified that the design was feasible.

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Figures

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Fig. 2

(a) Existing crank design and (b) proposed crank assembly design

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Fig. 3

Coupler trajectory approximation for three crank lengths

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Fig. 4

Normalized coupler trajectory for three crank lengths

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Fig. 5

Crank assembly simulation model

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Fig. 6

Shear planes in lateral loading simulation

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Fig. 7

Max stress state in rotating simulation

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Fig. 8

New crank mechanism installed on ICARE

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