Mobile Robotic Balance Assistant (MRBA)

PartnerTan Tock Seng Hospital
Assisted Ability, Assistive Robots, Novel Robotic Systems
Clinical PI
​Dr Karen CHUA Sui Geok
Senior Consultant, Rehabilitation Medicine
Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Technical PIProf ANG Wei Tech
Executive Director, Rehabilitation Research Institute of Singapore
Associate Professor
School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering and LKC School of Medicine
Nanyang Technological University


The challenge

The human balance control system degenerates with age.

This is exacerbated by conditions such as:

  • neurological insults (e.g. head injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s Disease, peripheral neuropathies, etc.)
  • musculoskeletal problems (e.g. chronic ankle sprains, chronic degenerative low back pain, scoliosis, amputation, etc.) and
  • vestibular deficits (e.g. benign paroxysmal positional vertigo).

A consequence of weakened balance control is the increased risk of falling. On average, generally healthy people aged 65 or over will fall 0.65 times per year and this rate doubles among people older than 75 years.


The proposed solution

The objective of the Mobile Robotic Balance Assistant (MRBA) programme is to research and develop an MRBA for people with a high risk of falling based on the Berg Balance Scale ≤ 20. As many falls happen within the home, our MRBA is intended for the indoor environment and will be suitable for use with minimal caregiver help in both the home and institutional settings.