Bull-Riding Trunk TrainerBy Brahm, Anna; Lehrer, Nicole; Levelle, Amy; Lipner, Justin; NSF 2007 Engineering Senior Design Projects to Aid Persons With Disabilities, pp. 216-217
Publication Date: 2010
Description of a therapeutic exercise machine for strengthening the trunk of a child with cerebral palsy. The bull-riding trunk trainer was developed by biomedical engineering students at Tulane University for a 9-year-old boy with cerebral palsy whose leg hypertonicity and weak trunk tone cause scissoring of his legs while walking. The trainer simulates the movements of a mechanical bull. Its major components are a timber frame and a padded PVC pipe suspended from the frame by four ropes. The frame, ropes, and bull form a four-bar mechanism that ensures a rolling motion while the bull moves. With the control of a supervising adult, the device moves the user around in an unpredictable way, with the weight and imbalance of the user being the source of the system’s movement. The movements force the user to adjust his trunk position and utilize his balance to avoid falling. The bull is narrow enough for the user to straddle but wide enough for him to stretch his legs apart, keeping them abducted throughout the riding session. The bull is also equipped with straps that hold him securely to the saddle while allowing independent trunk movement and features handlebars for further grip points.
Published by: Creative Learning Press, Inc. (Website:http://www.creativelearningpress.com)
Link to text: http://nsf-pad.bme.uconn.edu/2007/Chapter12,%20Tulane%20University.pdf