2017 Volume 11 Issue 6 Pages JAMDSM0088
Due to the growing elderly population in many developed countries like Japan, assistive devices are increasingly needed to overcome the difficulties of their activities of daily living (ADL). The motion of standing up places a particular burden on the ankle and knee joints and connects static motions (e.g., sitting and lying) and kinetic motions (e.g., walking and climbing up/down the stairs). In our previous research, two types of standing-up assistance apparatuses were introduced according to the suitable standing-up motions. However, these devices are bulky and cannot be widely used in practical settings such as bus terminals. Regarding the suitable standing-up motions of the elderly in the previous literature, a standing-up apparatus with a pantograph mechanism is introduced to diminish the size of the mechanism based on three design principles: (1) the trajectory of the user's COG is an arc; (2) the trajectory of the user's hip joint while standing up is a straight line at an angle of 45 [deg] from the horizon; and (3) the user is supported until the knee angle reaches 60 [deg]. Simulations showed that the load on knee and ankle joint is decreased, and user may stand up easily with our proposed apparatus. A prototype of the apparatus that may be installed on various chairs in public was fabricated. Considering that the apparatus may be used in places without electric power supply, the apparatus is made simply with links and a gas spring instead of electric actuators. Experimental measurements of the trajectories of the center of gravity (COG) and hip joints show that the proposed apparatus may help users to stand in a way that minimizes stress on their lower-body joints.