Author(s): MingFang Chang, WeiHao Mou
In this paper, the mechanism of an active robotic walker, CAIROW (Context-aware Assisted Interactive Robotic Walker), designed for patients with Parkinson's Disease (PD) and its clinical experiment is introduced. To the best knowledge of authors, CAIROW is the first active robotic walker designed for Parkinson's patients. Targeting to reduce the freezing of gait and the easily falling problem of PD patients, CAIROW is stable and safe when approaching, providing reliable support to the leg motion of patients. In comparison with our previous work, various enhancements lie in more force sensors deployed on the handle, additional distance calibration function introduced, and improved entertainment functions for elders. Such newly added functions enable CAIROW to serve various kinds of patients in practical environment. The experiment shows the feasibility of CAIROW on PD patients in a senior care unit. Further discussion and suggestions for future developers are also provided. In conclusion, CAIROW holds a high promise for caring for Parkinson's patients in the future.