Krishna designed a prototype wearable device that can help people with balance issues.
A Novel Wearable for Active Prevention of Falls Through GRU-Based Gyroscopic Inference and Center of Mass ManipulationView Poster
Krishna’s grandma has Parkinson’s disease. It’s a nervous system disorder that causes movement and balance issues. “Throughout her life, she has endured many falls, many of which resulted in injury,” Krishna says. He was sad to see his grandma lose her independence due to the disease. “She used to be an energetic lady,” he says. “Seeing her in this state hurts me.” Since Krishna is interested in electronics, he decided to create a device that could help people with balance problems.
Tactics and Results
Krishna designed a prototype balancing device that resembles a vest. It contains a gyroscope to detect how far its wearer is leaning. Based on that information, the system moves 1.8-kilogram, nearly 4-pound, weights hanging on either side of the user. Motors rotate the weights, raising them to be either in front of or behind the wearer. Doing so adjusts their center of mass, or balance point, to help prevent them from falling. Krishna tested the device’s effectiveness by leaning forward and backward at different angles with and without the vest. While wearing his prototype, Krishna had a 70.5 percent higher success rate of not falling compared to not wearing it. This device could one day help users gain independence and a higher quality of life, he says.
Beyond the Project
Since many of the prototype’s components are cardboard, the next step would be to make a plastic version, Krishna says. He would also like to make the device more compact.
Krishna has many hobbies, including swimming, Kung Fu, student council and violin. But his favorite is playing guitar. “It serves as an outlet of creativity for me, as I enjoy stringing together new melodies,” he says. He hopes to become a biomedical engineer so he can use engineering and technology to help people and improve healthcare.