Logo for the Journal of Rehab R and D

Volume 45 Number 9, 2008
   Pages 1281 — 1294

Abstract - Clinical evaluation of Guido robotic walker

Andrew J. Rentschler, PhD;1-2 Richard Simpson, PhD, ATP;1-3* Rory A. Cooper, PhD;1-4 Michael L. Boninger, MD1-4

1Human Engineering Research Laboratories, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Rehabilitation Research and Development Center of Excellence in Wheelchairs and Associated Rehabilitation Engineering, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA; Departments of 2Rehabilitation Sciences and Technology, 3Bioengineering, and 4Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Abstract — The Guido is a robotic walker that provides navigation and obstacle-avoidance assistance. Engineering tests have found that the device performs adequately and presents no hazard to the user. The performance of the Guido was compared with a low-tech mobility aid, the Assistive Mobility Device (AMD) developed at the Atlanta Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, in trials involving older adults with visual impairments. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the Guido could increase the safety and mobility of elderly visually impaired individuals in supervised care facilities. Subjects traversed an obstacle course with the Guido and the AMD. Completion time, obstacle/wall contacts, and reorientations were compared for both devices. No significant differences were found between the devices for any of the tests. The Guido did not perform better than the AMD during the trials. Revisions to the device as well as a change in subject requirements and testing protocol may produce different results.

Key words: clinical testing, mobility aid, navigation assistance, obstacle avoidance, older adults, rehabilitation, robotic walker, safety, visual impairment, walker.

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