This study investigated the effects of click sounds on the detection of somatosensory stimulus by repetitive peripheral magnetic stimulation (rPMS). Nineteen healthy volunteers carried out the somatosensory stimulus detection tasks in which they were asked to raise their left arm only when they detected somatosensory stimulus on their right thigh by rPMS. This study had two conditions: click sounds condition and no click sounds condition. rPMS was presented to participants at a stimulus frequency of 10 Hz, stimulus time of 2 s, and stimulus intensity of 0.6 – 1.4 times their sensory threshold. Each participant performed 90 trials of the task in each condition using the method of constant stimuli. We calculated the proportion of the detections of each stimulus intensity and analyzed the psychometric function of each condition. As a result, the detection threshold in the click sounds condition was lower than the no click sounds condition. This finding suggests that click sounds facilitates detection of somatosensory stimulus by rPMS.
Many elderly people use walkers or walking trolleys to facilitate walking. However, characteristically, such walkers can hardly ascend even a small step. Elderly people tend to fall and injure themselves when they try to raise their walker onto a step. This paper attempts to clarify the cause of the difficulty that elderly experience when ascending small steps. The relation between a step’s height and the radius of the front wheel was derived in terms of the critical condition by which the elderly cart can or cannot ascend the step was determined. A simple L-shaped beam was used to evaluate the components of the contact force arisen when a front wheel runs against a step. The results of this paper show the principle of the L-shaped beam method for the measurement of the contact force. Furthermore, the experimental results agreed well with the theoretical conditions obtained by this study. By using a wheel placed in the middle of the walker, a step-ascending mechanism was devised so as to ascend steps without difficulty. In conclusion, this paper elucidates the principle of the step-ascending mechanism.
Severely disabled children have little experience with self-movement because of their motor disability. Self-movement experience is very important for them in process of social development and is useful to increase of motivation and interest about around environment. Our developed device, named “B-GO”, tows walker or wheelchair for severely disabled children to move on a voluntary basis. This paper shows outline of this device and development organization and background, and discuss the performance of this device and future problem and so on. “B-GO” was developed by working group consisting of various specialist that is mechanical and electrical engineer, physical therapist, academic researcher, industrial designer and public official. In development, the suggestions from Beppu Developmental Medicine and Habilitation Center were most key point. First prototype was used by children in there and beneficial effect was confirmed. “B-GO” was a commercial reality through addition of the attractive shape and minor improvements. This device is coupled to a walker or a wheelchair, and operated using joystick. Device size is 350mm * 300mm, and its mass is about 9kg.
There has recently been substantial research regarding assistance in gait rehabilitation using an actuator for patients with motor paralysis; however, the effect of exercise assistance of each articulation on gait has not been clarified. We developed a dorsiflexion support orthosis using artificial muscle. In this study, we report the short-term effects of dorsiflexion assistance using the proposed orthosis on gait; the proposed orthosis was applied to a patient with lumbar spondylolisthesis. The experimental design employed was the pre–post testing. There was no significant difference between the pre- and post-test results. In the intervention test, the maximum pressure of the heel significantly increased.
Hemiplegic patients sometimes show three-dimensional abnormal movements during gait. This study focused on detecting abnormal gait movements of hemiplegic subjects with an inertial sensor. First, the estimation accuracy of the three-dimensional vector calculated from signals measured with the inertial sensor was evaluated using a metallic structure. As a result, adequate estimation accuracy was obtained. Then, using the estimated vector, the three-dimensional thigh movements of four hemiplegic subjects were compared with those of 12 healthy subjects. The average values of the range of vector components in the lateral direction of the three hemiplegic subjects were larger than those of healthy subjects. This suggests the circumduction movement of hemiplegic subjects. Therefore, the estimated thigh vector from inertial sensor signals is considered useful for detecting three-dimensional abnormality during hemiplegic gait. Further studies are required to develop a practical evaluation index.