Created as part of IEEE's Presidents' Change the World Competition 2009, the
Augmented Walking Tutor is an augmented reality tile floor, similar in most
respects to other such floors, but which is programmed to help disabled individuals
either train or retrain for a healthy walking gait.
The tutor, like many AR floors of the same type, consists of a network of interconnected
tiles with intregrated processors and display systems. Each is in essence a
separate computer system designed to be walked over, and to display lights and
patterns on its upper surface. These tiles, each one square foot, are large
enough to sport a nine inch by nine inch display surface, slot together to create
a walkway. The tiles contain pressure sensors that are able to determine weight
upon them, and respons as programmed when this occurs, or when another, different
tile is stepped on. This is possible because once slotted together, the tiles
are capable of talking to one another, and can be controlled by a separate computer
system, all at once.
Using a custom algorithm, the walking tutor guages how much pressure is being
put on its tiles, which are set up like a catwalk runway. From the pressure
pattern it works out the weight of the individual, and their leg length. It
then starts to light up slowing the optimum gait pattern for that person.
A physical therapist can of course adjust the pattern if it is not practical
for that individual, but the individual has a visual guide, calculated in real
time for each footstep, of where the next one should be.
If they fail to make it, the system records how far short they fell, and lights
up the next square based on current foot position.
Aids for Physically/Mentally Handicapped Children