Research

Unique ‘fall airbag’ to protect elderly from sustaining injuries after a fall

20. 3. 2017 | When older adults people fall over, it often has serious consequences. AcademiaNet scientist Dr. Heike Vallery from TU Delft has developed algorithms for a ‘fall airbag’, which reduces the risk of fractures and their devastating conseuences.
Fall Airbag
Bild vergrößern
Fall Airbag

The latest statistics show that many elderly people have to be treated in the accident and emergency departments of hospitals after having a fall. Thousands of them even have died as a result of the fall. The amount of deaths caused by falling will only increase in the future due to the ageing population. AcademiaNet scientist Heike Vallery from the Faculty of 3mE at the TU Delft has therefore developed algorithms for a ‘fall airbag’. Colleagues from the BioMechanical Engineering department, the industrial Design Engineering department and the Dutch start-up WOLK BV have been cooperating with her on this. "We hope this technology will eventually reduce the risk of falls for senior citizens, enabling them to actively participate in their communities", so Heike Vallery to AcademiaNet.

Vallery is conducting research into a fall algorithm that predicts instability in older people. This ensures that the air bag is deployed on time. Within a year, the updated fall algorithm will be incorporated into the first series of fall airbags, which will be manufactured by WOLK BV. In the event of instability the ‘fall airbag’ protects elderly people from sustaining an injury.

"We are pleased to be able to contribute to finding a solution for this social problem. And it doesn’t get in the user’s way while they’re wearing it. The air bag is comfortable, easy to use and can be worn under most clothes. The pillows can be unfolded on three sides (left, right and at the rear), which reduces the risk of hip injuries," says Filippo van Hellenberg Hubar of WOLK BV and alumnus of the department of Aerospace Engineering TU Delft.

Hopefully injuries among elderly will be prevented through this research and the use of wearable technology.   TU Delft, AcademiaNet)

More information

Testimonials

  1. Read what our members say about AcademiaNet.

No more excuses!

  1. Please download the brochure "No more excuses" and read more about female experts in Europe, and about AcademiaNet.

News

  1. "Science means relevance."

    Interview with Anne Glover, Vice-Principal External Affairs & Dean for Europe, University of Aberdeen, Former Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission

  2. Eva Hevia wins Corday-Morgan Prize 2017

    The AcademiaNet member is honoured for her contributions to the field of chemistry.

  3. "… so they can have families and still become scientists."

    Women are seriously underrepresented in key positions within the scientific world. Throughout the EU only 21% of professorships with the highest endowments are held by women; in some EU countries this proportion is even lower. We talked to Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, President of the ERC, about women in science and AcademiaNet.

  4. Proof of Concept: ERC awards grants for innovation

    Fifty-one ERC grant holders receive top-up funding to explore the commercial or innovation potential of the results of their EU-funded frontier research. Among them are five AcademiaNet members.

  5. Spinning like a spider

    AcademiaNet welcomes its 2500 member this week – Dr Anna Rising from Karolinska Institutet and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. To celebrate, we called Dr Rising and chatted about her research on spider silk, her start-up company Spiber Technologies and life as a woman in science.