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Dynamic Balance System
Melissa McCafferty and Brian Teagarden
Advisor: Dr. William Hammond

The BIODEX Balance System is a medical apparatus used by physical therapists which monitors a patient's center of gravity. This is accomplished while they try to stand on an unstable platform. This project introduced modifications to the Balance System which allow it to disturb the patient's balance by moving the surface on which they stand. The patient's reaction to this motion will provide information to the physical therapist which will help to determine whether the patient is capable of recovering from an unexpected disturbance such as sliding on loose gravel or tripping on a rock.

The technical aspects of the project included designing a new user interface and implementing computer control over a mechanical actuator. The actuator used was a pneumatic cylinder, with its air flow regulated by a microcontroller controlled solenoid valve.

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