A Gait Rehabilitation Robot for the Training of Subtasks in Walking

E.H.F. van Asseldonk, R. Ekkelenkamp, J.F. Veneman, F.C.T. van der Helm, H. van der Kooij

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    Background: In the past decade, different gait rehabilitation robots have been developed. These robots concentrated on relearning gait by repeatedly enforcing a walking pattern for the whole leg or only for the foot. Such training might be less task specific as generally thought, because learning to walk is more complex than learning a position trajectory. We believe active participation of the patient in training and subdivision of the training in several subtasks leads to more comprehensive and functional training.
    Methods: Using a newly developed actuated exoskeleton (LOPES) in combination with a treadmill, we aimed to selectively and gently support specific subtasks of walking, like knee stabilization, lateral balance, and foot clearance. Foot clearance and knee stabilization subtask had been implemented with dedicated controllers and tested during walking with healthy subjects.
    Results: Foot clearance could be increased without disrupting the subject’s own initiated walking in the remainder of the gait cycle. During weight acceptation,
    the knee stabilization ensured by the exoskeleton while the subject relaxed his knee. The gentle control of the robot allowed a comfortable interaction between subject and robot.
    Conclusion: Selective support of subtasks seems to be a viable method of interaction with the patient to train his or her gait. In the near future, we will implement a complete set of gait subtasks, which makes all kinds of training interventions possible.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)111-111
    Number of pages1
    JournalNeurorehabilitation and neural repair
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2006
    Event4th World Congress for NeuroRehabilitation, WCNR 2006 - Hong Kong, Hong Kong
    Duration: 12 Feb 200616 Feb 2006
    Conference number: 4


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