Fall Protection System

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Northern Arizona University


Project Description

The Biomechatronics Lab uses robotic exoskeletons to improve walking biomechanics in individuals with neuromuscular disorders. Study participants practice walking with the assistive devices in NAU’s Human Performance Lab. Because many of the participants have neuromuscular deficits due to stroke, spinal cord injury, or cerebral palsy, they are predisposed to falling. The goal of this project is to design a fall protection system to use during over-ground and treadmill gait studies. Commercial systems may be difficult to integrate to the existing lab space and are expensive.

What is Gait Analysis?

A human’s gait is the way in which one moves their entire body from one location to another. Doing so typically involves the act of walking, running, jumping, skipping, etc. Gait analysis is a method used to evaluate the manner in which a human walks or runs and highlights biomechanical irregularities. Gait analysis in the circumstance of our client’s study is performed using state of the art infrared motion detection cameras that relay an individual's particular movements to a computer in which he can observe. With the tracked data, he can then determine the appropriate therapy to help the individual better their performance.


Utilize engineering design techniques and analyses to construct a structural frame that incorporates a fall protection mechanism to stabilize and assist patients undergoing gait therapy.


The following constraints were organized by our client and are to be met upon the completion of our teams proposed design.