Development of Foot Gait Simulator for Presenting Environment to Each User
Tomomi Hashimoto*1, Yasuyuki Takakura*2,
Toshimitsu Hamada*3, Toshiko Akazawa*4,
and Mitsuru Yamamoto*5
*1Saitama Institute of Technology, 1690 Fusaiji, Fukaya, Saitama 369-0293, Japan
*2Saitama Medical University, 981 Kawakado, Moroyamamachi, Saitama 350-0496, Japan
*3Tsukuba Gakuin University, 3-1 Azuma, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki, 305-0031, Japan
*4Kitasato University, 1-15-1 Kitasato, Minami, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-0373, Japan
*5Saitama Medical Center, Saitama Medical School, 1981 Kamoda, Kawagoe, Saitama 350-8550, Japan
This article develops gait rehabilitation that presents the subject’s living environment in Virtual Reality (VR). This simulator is shaped similar to a walking frame and consists of a PC, a monitor, a Wii Balance Board of Wii Fit, a handle, and a cage. The subject steps on the Wii Balance Board tomove forward in VR and operates the handle left and right to turn around. Walking quickly on the Wii Balance Board, the subject moves quickly in VR, and walking slowly, moves slowly. In VR, an avatar in front of the subject enables the subject to operate the simulator to follow the avatar. As an example of living environment, a virtual town was made with roads, houses, nursing homes, traffic lights, trees, etc. Our system was tested by ten older subjects and 15 younger subjects from November 2009 to June 2010. Our system features a variable reference speed for each subject to move in VR, which realizes an appropriate amount of motion. In a low-difficulty gait task, all finished in almost the same walking time and enjoyed appropriate exercise. In a highly-difficult gait task, some older subjects had difficulty in gait training due to multiple attention requirements.
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