. mobility means Freedom Smiling Project .
Self mobility improvement in the elderly  


"One must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star."
Friedrich Nietzsche
from: "Also spracht Zarathustra"


Mobility means freedom, flexibility and autonomy for all citizens, including older persons. Aging is characterized by functional changes that can create gait and balance disturbances in elderly, which are the main risk factor for falling. Elderly at risk of falling can be considered to be suffering from an involuntary motor behaviour that restricts their participation in society. One method to overcome such a situation is to activate a new learning process to better approach real life tasks, that represents an innovative element.

The SMILING project is planning to diminish age related impairments by interfering with mobility disability and improving carry-over into real life situations. The new approach is intended to challenge the patient to solve new motor problems in real time by inducing variable environments that need active response and problem solving from the target population.
This multidisciplinary project aims at a reorganization of the rehabilitation process in ageing, through new training procedures and advanced technologies needed to deliver them.
The SMILING solution, a wearable computer-controlled device, is aimed to implement a systemic solution to re-model training sessions used prevalently in fitness clubs or home environments to facilitate and ameliorate walking schemas.
The end-users needs have been assessed and they are involved in feasibility tests currently on going. In the design, special attention was given to the acceptance and usability of new technology, within the constrains set by the training requirements.

The SMILING system configures itself as a motorised shoe driven by a devoted user unit. Two prototypes of shoe, based on different mechanical actuators, were developed and on the bases of preliminary tests one was selected to go under clinical testing. On the other side the control electronics underwent miniaturisation to set up the final complete system.

The final product will improve mobility and functional status of target populations significantly prolonging independent living, increasing active participation in society across prevailing age-related impairments, and provide mobility aspects of active ageing.

The SMILING shoes SMILING system demonstration The SMILING training Wearing the SMILING shoes Wearing the SMILING User Control Unit Walking with the SMILING shoes Training with the SMILING shoes Training with the SMILING shoes
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