PN 002-12 2012-03-20

Just like in real life

Like Germany, many nations are facing the challenge of an aging population that calls for environments, technologies and products matched to the needs of senior citizens. A Canadian laboratory - the only one of its kind in the world - is now using Rexroth technology to conduct research into the physical difficulties older or disabled people face in their everyday lives.

Whether icy streets, slippery floors, stairways, or potentially confusing situations – here the researchers of the Challenging Environment Assessment Lab (CEAL) can compile reliable data about living with physical limitations, and all under safe conditions.

At the heart of the CEAL facility is a unique platform that can move in six degrees of freedom. The hydraulic motion system was engineered by Rexroth, which supplied everything: the cylinders, the platform, the motion control software, a test run, and assembly in Toronto. The movable platform can accept various “payloads” – chambers designed to simulate different situations. There is a general purpose cabin which can be varied by adding stairs and changing floor coverings. Also included are a winter chamber and a visual dome where virtual environments can be created. All three are equipped with a surround sound system to make the test configuration as realistic as possible.

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> Photo: The CEAL in Toronto in a testing situation.

Photo: © Toronto Rehab


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