Development of a Novel Perturbation Platform System for Balance Response Testing and Rehabilitation Interventions

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ASME International


Balance perturbations are often used to gain insight into reactive control strategies used to prevent falls. We developed a perturbation platform system (PPS) that can induce perturbations in both vertical and angled directions. The PPS was evaluated using human subject testing to verify its function and performance. The final system consisted of two box platforms that can individually perform vertical and angled surface perturbations. Following a perturbation, the system can automatically reset for the next iteration under the weight of the standing participant. The PPS achieves a peak downward acceleration of 4.4 m/s2 during drop events that simulate sudden surface changes. The experimental testing revealed that the perturbation induced a peak limb loading of 280 ± 38% of body weight (BW) during vertical drops and that participants' center of mass displacements were consistent with previous balance studies evaluating vertical perturbations. The system can be used in a laboratory or clinical setting to better understand balance response and control mechanisms and assist in rehabilitation training to improve balance control and help mitigate the incidence of falls.


ASME © Originally published in Journal of Medical Devices


balance, biomechanics, falling, perturbation, rehabilitation, uneven ground


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