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A novel gait assist robot to prevent fall-related injuries

Primary Investigators:
David Braun
Brief Description of Project:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among adults age 65 and older. While state-of-the-art technology is employed to reduce the injury in car accidents, innovations in making elderly people move around safer remain slow, leaving people after injury to use old inventions such as crutches and wheelchairs. In Vanderbilt Advanced Robotics and Control Laboratory (ARCLab) we are interested in developing a wheeled gait assist robot that can better assist the elderly that crutches and wheelchairs. The robot will be attached to a human to prevent falling and also assist the elderly to regain confidence in moving around. The student working on this project will help design and test the robot.

Desired Qualifications:
We are looking for undergraduate students interested in robotics. The student working on the project should be focused on mechanical design and should be comfortable using SolidWorks. The student would also benefit from hands-on experience in fabrication methods which includes machining and rapid prototyping. Mechatronics and programming experience is also desired.
Nature of Supervision:
The student will be directly working with a graduate student mentor. 
The research team, student and graduate student mentor, will frequently meet with Dr. Braun.
A Brief Research Plan (period is for 10 weeks):
Weeks 1-2 - Preliminary mechanical design
Weeks 2-3 – Small-scale prototype
Weeks 3-6 - Full-scale design
Weeks 6-8 - Fabrication and assembly
Weeks 8-10 - Testing
Number of Open Slots: 1
Contact Information:
Name: David Braun
Department: Mechanical Engineering