Masters Theses

Abstract

"Can additional information about one's body kinematics provided through hands improve human balance? Light-Touch (LT) through hands helps improve balance in a wide range of populations, both healthy and impaired. The force is too small to provide any meaningful mechanical assistance -- rather, it is suggested that the additional sensory information through hands helps the body improve balance.

To investigate the potential for improving human balance through biofeedback through hands, we developed a Virtual Cane (VC) for balance assistance during standing. The VC mimics the physical cane's function of providing information about one's body in space. Balance experiments on 10 healthy young adults are conducted, where the evidence of improved standing balance with VC is collected and analyzed in terms of both, medio-lateral & anterior-posterior accelerations of the trunk. The results showed that VC improved balance in both X & Y directions as compared to no cane and in some cases, balance improvement was almost as good as physical cane condition. This shows that standing balance can be improved by even a simple binary information on one's hand position with respect to the ground.

This work furthers the concept of biofeedback from using virtual devices for balance assistance - using virtual LT through hands. Specifically, this work investigates a novel case where information that otherwise cannot be provided by any of the sensory organs (i.e., accurate distance from one's hand to an external object), improves human standing balance. This research will propagate and give a boost to inspect and analyze similar or supplementary improvement effects during walking"--Abstract, page iii.

Advisor(s)

Song, Yun Seong

Committee Member(s)

Liou, Frank W.
Burns, Devin Michael

Department(s)

Materials Science and Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Manufacturing Engineering

Publisher

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2019

Pagination

viii, 40 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographic references (pages 37-39).

Rights

© 2019 Sindhu Reddy Alluri, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type

text

Language

English

Thesis Number

T 11515

Electronic OCLC #

1105154957

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