Document Type

Theses, Masters


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


The focus of this thesis is to design, build and control a prototype walking aid. The frame of the prototype is based on a combination of features from standard, widely available, wheeled walking aids. The user drives the walking aid. New brakes are added to facilitate accurate sensitive controlled stopping of the aid either by the user or automatically. The braking is achieved by the novel use of hydraulic disc brakes as used on mountain bicycles. Braking force is modulated via a linear actuator stepping motor controlled by a local drive. Actualisation of control of both stepping motor and supervisor control is by a 68HC11F1 microcontroller. The supervisor controller monitors walker movement via an encoder and determines normal walker movement in terms of speed and acceleration. This normal movement then determines the control strategy and when the supervisor controller will share the control of braking with the user. Finally if the user tires and the walker movement changes the system can adapt accordingly. This thesis makes a contribution in the areas of normal movement of a walking aid and controlled stopping of a walking aid to improve user safety.


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