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International Journal of New Technology and Research

Impact Factor 3.953

(An ISO 9001:2008 Certified Online Journal)
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Vibrotactile Mechanism for Proprioceptive System

( Volume 2 Issue 9,September 2016 ) OPEN ACCESS

Sana M.K.


Good balance and mobility are necessary in order to independently perform acts of daily living and to avoid falls causing injuries or hospitalization. Three sensory systems in the body are primarily responsible for detecting and maintaining balance. These are visual, vestibular and proprioceptive systems. They work together to maintain balance. In a normal individual, the existence of a sensatory pressure below the foot is indicative of his/her body balance. This sensatory pressure has a threshold value, below which the individual loses body balance and this threshold value increases with age.

  The project aims at improving the balance of elderly people by filling the sub threshold region, by providing a mechanical vibration to the foot. This is done with the help of a vibrator motor. Force sensors are used to measure the foot pressure. Vibrator is switched on, only when the output from force sensor is less than the threshold value of detection. Thus, output from the vibrator is given to the position where most crucial mechanoreceptors are located and they are the metatarsal phalangeal joint (MTP) region, the heel and the plantar side of the first toe. Hence, mechanical vibration can increase the intensity of signal and overcome the threshold value of detection and thereby help elderly people maintain body balance.

  This device not only helps in improving body balance in elderly people but also finds its application in gait improvement, gait stabilization in Parkinson’s patients and relaxation foot massages.

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