Improving the Standing Balance of Paraplegics through the Use of a Wearable Exoskeleton

Amber Emmens, Edwin Van Asseldonk, Marcella Masciullo, Matteo Arquilla, Iolanda Pisotta, Nevio Luigi Tagliamonte, Federica Tamburella, Marco Molinari, Herman Van Der Kooij

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    2 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    In this study, our goal was to improve the standing balance of people with a spinal cord injury by using a wearable exoskeleton that has ankle and knee actuation in the sagittal plane. Three test-pilots that have an incomplete spinal cord injury wore the exoskeleton and tried to maintain standing balance without stepping while receiving anteroposterior pushes. Two balance controllers were tested: One providing assistance based on the subject's body sway and one based on the whole body momentum. For both controllers, the balance performances of the test-pilots wearing the exoskeleton were assessed based on the center of mass kinematics and compared to the condition in which the device did not provide any assistance. One of the test-pilots was not able to maintain balance without assistance, but could withstand small pushes when any of the balance controllers was implemented. For this test-pilot the recovery time and sway amplitude hardly varied with the type of balance controller that was used. For the other two test-pilots the recovery time and the sway amplitude were smallest using the body sway controller. In conclusion, the wearable exoskeleton with balance controller was able to improve the balance performance of the test-pilots by reducing the recovery time after a perturbation and by enabling one of the test-pilots to maintain balance, who could not maintain balance by himself.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationBIOROB 2018 - 7th IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics
    Subtitle of host publicationHigh Tech Human Touch: 26-29 Aug, Enschede, The Netherlands
    Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
    PublisherIEEE
    Pages707-712
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5386-8183-1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2018
    Event7th IEEE RAS & EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, BioRob 2018
    : High Tech Human Touch
    - University Campus, Enschede, Netherlands
    Duration: 26 Aug 201829 Aug 2018
    Conference number: 7
    https://www.biorob2018.org/

    Conference

    Conference7th IEEE RAS & EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, BioRob 2018
    Abbreviated titleBioRob
    CountryNetherlands
    CityEnschede
    Period26/08/1829/08/18
    Internet address

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