Technical Report CIS9714

Title: Walking on Tiles
Authors: Yoram Baram
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Abstract: It is shown that a tiled floor provides continuous stabilizing visual information against stumbling and falling while walking. A steady walk, eyes at a nearly constant height, maintains a certain level of net optical flow in a tile's image. A stumble generates a disturbance in the net flow, which is fed back as a corrective signal to the limbs. This may explain why people with Alzheimer disease and other motoric disorders, who refuse to walk on untiled floors, are willing to walk on tiled ones. It also explains why recently reported devices for creating an optical effect of motion over tiles may be dangerous.
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