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AWAD: Advanced Walking Assistive Device

The AWAD features an advanced motion system both from a mechanical and a controlling point of view, with four independent legs.

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The project is a modular system. The base consists of a central body containing accumulators, electronics, sensors, equipped with four motorized legs, each one has three segments. The base when closed for transportation takes up little space. On the base is mounted the seating system, which can tilt respect to the base when ascending / descending slopes. Each leg ends in a sphere made of rubbery material that can be blocked, in the case of locomotion by walking, or rotated by its motor, blocking the legs, in case of flat terrain, to increase the autonomy. The project solves the following problems of current systems: locomotion on rough terrains, steps, steps and edges, stairs. Rotate on yourself in-place. Being able to be seated at different heights depending on the need. Having a modular electric charging system and practical to use. Maximize the autonomy of the road travelled with single charge.

How did the project start?

The project stems from a discussion with some visitors of a fair dedicated to consumer electronics in which some solutions for people with disabilities in the lower limbs were presented. Some of them have expressed the need to overcome small architectural obstacles that they encounter in daily life, such as steps, side walks, platforms for the climb in public transport, maybe climbing stairs. Others have expressed the difficulty in reaching, by sitting on the wheelchair, higher top shelves and shelves, in an autonomous way. Our team has also studied the autonomy of commercially available solutions, and if intelligent systems already exist and are able to optimize locomotion based on the type of terrain.

Who are the potential users?

The potential users of the AWAD system are people with disabilities in the lower limbs who want a higher degree of mobility compared to the solutions currently available on the market. They are looking for a product that contains cutting-edge technology, with a clean and modern design, and they want the product to be able to bring them as close as possible to the range of freedom of movement that a person without disabilities can experience. Climb the stairs, overcome obstacles up to 15cm high, be able to turn in place, go up and down to reach points higher or lower than their current position. Potential users expect a degree of autonomy and freedom of movement with greater autonomy and an intuitive control system. They also want a safe product, that through an intelligent management of energy and status monitoring, will never let the user to be stuck in unwanted situations without help.

AWAD system proposal.pdf

Presentation of the project

Adobe Portable Document Format - 1.18 MB - 04/13/2018 at 08:13

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  • Preliminary tech details

    Madaeon04/12/2018 at 17:02 0 comments

    The project is a modular system. The base consists of a central body containing accumulators, electronics, sensors, equipped with four motorized legs, each one has three segments. The base when closed for transportation takes up little space. On the base is mounted the seating system, which can tilt respect to the base when ascending / descending slopes. Each leg ends in a sphere made of rubbery material that can be blocked, in the case of locomotion by walking, or rotated by its motor, blocking the legs, in case of flat terrain, to increase the autonomy. The project solves the following problems of current systems: locomotion on rough terrains, steps, steps and edges, stairs. Rotate on yourself in-place. Being able to be seated at different heights depending on the need. Having a modular electric charging system and practical to use. Maximize the autonomy of the road travelled with single charge.

  • Academic references that support this idea

    Madaeon04/12/2018 at 17:01 0 comments

    Academic references that support this idea:


    1) This article suggest the areas of improvement for Smart Wheelchairs, addressing technical issues and benefits. The article concludes that Smart Wheelchairs will play an important role, provided that some key factors, like customization and respect for the needs of their users are understood.

    “A Comprehensive Review of Smart Wheelchairs: Past, Present and Future By Jesse Leaman, and Hung M. La, Senior Member, IEEE”

    Source: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1704.04697.pdf

    2) This article shows a feasibility test for a wheelchair with vision based navigation. Despite using hardware that has very limited power compared to similar solution available nowadays, early tests were promising.

    “Development of Vision-Based Navigation for a Robotic Wheelchair, by Matt Bailey, Andrew Chanler, Bruce Maxwell, Mark Micire, Katherine Tsui, and Holly Yanco”

    Source: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/7fdc/20817f4348947a69dd9912910cec4ee5694a.pdf

    3) This article

    “Wheeling in the New Millennium: The history of the wheelchair and the driving forces in wheelchair design today By Dr. Bonnita Sawatsky, Department of Orthopaedics, British Columbia's Childrens Hospital, Vancouver, BC, Canada”

    Source: https://www.wheelchairnet.org/WCN_WCU/SlideLectures/Sawatzky/WC_history.html

    4) This article shows a feasibility study of a robotic-leg hybrid wheelchair, similar in some aspects of the AWAD system we are presenting. Early tests were promising, despite a few issues, and hardware available today greatly surpasses the capabilities of what was used at the time this article was written.

    “Design of a robotic-hybrid wheelchair for operation in barrier present environments, By Murray Lawn, Takashi Takeda”

    Source: http://murraylawn.org/mjlneww/RobWC.PDF

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MrFarrow wrote 10/01/2018 at 11:46 point

Why is the user "seated"? Is it "center of gravity" issues? I would prefer to be in an upright position, to interact normally with others and to put weight on my legs and feet, rather than my buttocks. Standing position is more healthy. As long as you are designing something new, think outside of the "chair"?

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malvasio.christophe wrote 04/14/2018 at 08:20 point

hi

i have friedrich ataxia so your project is similar to what i want

why not use 1 motor for all your spherical wheels instead of 1 in each ?

why not add 2 axis, instead of 1, to the chair relative to the base so the base will not even have to rotate for the user to change direction

why not also add strong arms with vision, for precise manipulation of life objects/tools, to the base ?

adding even quadriplegiques support to a much better life with your thing is important

also i made https://hackaday.io/project/47138-pure-mechanic-motor you can use it to power an electric generator but only if you can read

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Madaeon wrote 04/18/2018 at 08:40 point

Thanks for your suggestions!

I had a look at your project, but when I open the file, I see nothing, it also says "no top level geometry", I do not use openscad normally

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