Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


A Robotically-Augmented Walker for Older Adults

Jared Glover, David Holstius, Michael Manojlovich, Keirsten Montgomery,
Aaron Powers, Jack Wu, Sara Kiesler, Judith Matthews, Sebastian Thrun

August 2003

Keywords: Mobile robotics, elderly care, walker, assistive devices, robot navigation, guidance system

Many older adults use walkers to improve their stability and safety while walking. We have developed a robotically augmented walker to reduce fall risk and confusion, and to increase walker convenience and enjoyment. Using a modified version of the CARMEN navigation software suite, the walker is capable of parking itself and returning to the user when signaled by remote control. The system also supports navigation in large indoor environments by providing simple directions to target locations such as a cafeteria. The walker received positive reviews during informal testing with residents of a Pennsylvania residence facility for older adults.

13 pages

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