This report describes work carried out on a pilot study to investigate the
feasibility of using externally applied forces to enhance the postural stability of
The long term aim of the research is the development of a new treatment
system for the rehabilitation of patients with a variety of postural or
ambulatory disabilities. The concept is based upon applying directional forces
to a patient by means of electronically controlled actuators, in order to provide
the stability which they lack. Eventually the treatment system would
incorporate a structure to support the actuators and patient allowing the
training of stability in walking as well as standing.
The report covers all stages in the development of an initial prototype
actuator system, covering fundamental design specifications through to
commissioning and testing. Although rudimentary, some clinical tests are
described and conclusions are drawn regarding the feasibility of the concept of
externally enhancing stability. More exhaustive trials are left to a further study.
A Master's Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Philosophy of Loughborough University.