Better balance and reduced risk of falling through non-contact coupling of ultrasonic vibrations.

Duration: 3.2019 – 4.2021


Project team:

Prof. Dr. Mario Kupnik | Dr. Christian Schumacher
FB 18, Mess- und Sensortechnik (MuST)

Prof. Dr. André Seyfarth | Dr. Martin Grimmer
FB 3, Sportwissenschaft (LL)


Project description:

The daily number of falls is increasing with increasing age and due to balance influencing impairments. In order to reduce the related number of falls and fall-related deaths, mainly physical training interventions were investigated so far. In this proposed project, we plan to investigate a novel approach – the application of air-coupled ultrasound vibrations – to reduce the number of daily falls. Ultrasound allows a versatile choice of the signal shape, the amplitude, and the frequency as well as a contact-less coupling to the subject. The functional mechanism of the balance improving effect using vibratory stimuli is still unclear. However, it is assumed that vibration improves the sensory perception, the processing or the transfer of sensor signals.



Der Bericht ist im Sommer 2020 in der hoch3 Forschen (opens in new tab) erschienen (S.3).

Seiler, J., Schäfer, N., Latsch, B., Chadda, R., Hessinger, M., Beckerle, P., & Kupnik, M. (2020). Wearable Vibrotactile Interface Using Phantom Tactile Sensation for Human-Robot Interaction. In International Conference on Human Haptic Sensing and Touch Enabled Computer Applications (pp. 380-388). Springer, Cham.

Schumacher, C., Berry, A., Lemus, D., Rode, C., Seyfarth, A., & Vallery, H. (2019). Biarticular muscles are most responsive to upper-body pitch perturbations in human standing. Scientific reports, 9(1), 1-14.

Tokur, D., Grimmer, M., & Seyfarth, A. (2020). Review of balance recovery in response to external perturbations during daily activities. Human movement science, 69, 102546.

Allevato, G., Rutsch, M., Hinrichs, J., Sarradj, E., Pesavento, M., & Kupnik, M. (2020). Spiral Air-Coupled Ultrasonic Phased Array for High Resolution 3D Imaging. In 2020 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS). IEEE.