AVG Fall Protection System

Fall Protection System for a Modified Wii-gaming Board


AVG Fall Protection System

Fall protection system being tested by student designer, Jessica Blair.


The World Health Organization (WHO) declares disability as any impairment, activity limitation, or participation restriction.1  Mobility disability is the most common disability type within the United States; it affects about 1 in every 8 adults,2 and includes people who are wheelchair bound or people with balance difficulties due to stroke, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, old age, or other debilitating circumstance. The team at UAB’s Engineering Technology Innovation & Development (EITD) redesigned a Wii Balance Board which provides a way for individuals with congenital or acquired balance limitations to exercise; however, there is insufficient safety mechanisms in place to catch a user should they lose their balance while playing. Therefore, a Biomedical Engineering (BME) capstone team has designed a fall protection exergaming frame that will allow the user to freely enjoy gameplay and exercise without fear of falling.

The design consists of four main parts: a frame base, back expansion legs; side poles, and a rope and harness system. The base of the machine is made out of 6061 Aluminum square tubing with poles that extend out to add extra support to the base and prevent tipping. Two vertical side poles slide into the base. A bungee rope system is attached to the frame through the use of pins on the side poles. The rope can be secured to differing heights of eyebolts to accommodate for different heights of people. The bungee rope system is then clipped onto a D-ring on the player’s shoulder blades via a torso harness. The entire base is on four locking casters which lock to keep the frame from moving during use but allow it to be easily transportable. The frame is also semi-collapsible in that the side poles can come off of the base and the base can be turned on its side for storage against a wall or in a closet.

The Fall-Protection system will be used in conjunction with the redesigned Wii Balance Board at the Lakeshore Foundation. Lakeshore clients will be able to use our frame to safely exercise while on the redesigned Wii Balance Board. The frame may also be used with treadmills or other common exercise equipment.

AVG Fall Protection Student Designers Jessica Blair and Eduardo Cedeno and mentor Alan Eberhardt.

[1] World Health Organization, International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Geneva: 2001, WHO.
[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Key Findings: Prevalence of Disability and Disability Type among Adults, United States – 2013. Disability and Health, 20 August 2015.