Comparison of Assistive Mobility Devices with Axillary Supports
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Assistive ambulatory devices with axillary supports are compared using a multidisciplinary approach. Axillary supports are commonly referred to as "shoulder supports" on standard crutches. A framework is presented that compares axillary supports based on loading characteristics during initial contact and during a stride. The underlying goal of this research is to lay the foundation for an axillary support design that is safe. The force normal to the axillary support of two types of assistive devices, axillary crutches and the Strutter, is found experimentally for 2-point gait and 2-point gait with no hands. A dynamic model is developed to estimate the force tangential to the axillary support required for axillary crutches and the Strutter to have the same stride time. Models for the Strutter are also developed to study the response of the axillary support to impact loads due to initial contact.