Falls and fall-related injuries are crucial health problems among older adults, and hip protectors are designed to reduce fall-related injuries in this population. This thesis explores the technology of inflatable hip protectors with the aim to provide insight for future designers and manufacturers of these devices. The thesis comprises two studies. In the first, a mathematical model of an inflatable hip protector is developed. For system identification, a prototype of an inflatable hip protector is fabricated, and tested with an electromagnetic shaker. In the second study, a pelvis release experimental configuration is investigated to determine the effectiveness of inflatable hip protectors compared with commercially available hip protectors. Results suggest that airbags of moderate size – 20 cm x 10 cm – provide over three times the force attenuation of current passive devices. These results support ongoing efforts to develop inflatable hip protectors for older adults who are at high risk for falls and hip fracture.
Copyright is held by the author.
The author granted permission for the file to be printed, but not for the text to be copied and pasted.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Member of collection