An agile and reversible walker with which you can even dance - and which still avoids falls: Prof. Notger Müller, group leader at the DZNE, wants to develop this within the next two years. In cooperation with the Institute of Sports Sciences at the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg (Prof. Anita Hökelmann), Vorrichtungsbau Giggel GmbH and idm GmbH, the neuroscientist has been granted funding for a joint project from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). In the project "Mit Sport, Spiel und Tanz gegen das Vergessen. Eine aktive Bewegungshilfe" ("With sports, play and dance against oblivion. An active movement aid"), a sports, dance and therapy roller will be developed, built and tested. The dance rollator will be used in rehabilitation as well as in dementia prevention and treatment.
"With the dance rollator we want to develop a new type of active movement aid that promotes physical training, reduces the risk of falling and maintains or improves mental flexibility," says Notger Müller. Particular attention should be paid to the behavior patterns - taking into account the physical and cognitive conditions of the users. "It is also planned to produce the rollator later for the wider market," says Prof. Müller.
The design focuses on sensory and actuator design for users who are physically and mentally restricted: The basis for the device is a mechanical frame on which various sensors and actuators are mounted.
Prof. Müller: "A particular advantage is that patients can use the dance rollator in an upright position, not bent as with a conventional rollator. Nevertheless, our rollator has a seat. And unlike the usual rigid rollers, the dance rollator can roll flexibly in all directions." To reduce the risk of falling, sensors are installed that activate the brakes when a fall is imminent. For athletic training purposes, the dance roller is equipped with vibrating motors. Their movement is used to communicate the direction in which the dancing user has to move.
The dance rollator will be used in rehabilitation as well as in dementia prevention and treatment. The DZNE's share of funding amounts to 80,000 euros, the project will run until April 2020.