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Robotic walking simulator for neurological gait rehabilitation

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4 Author(s)
H. Schmidt ; Dept. of Neurological Rehabilitation, Free Univ. of Berlin, Germany ; D. Sorowka ; S. Hesse ; R. Bernhardt

The restoration of walking capability is a key goal after stroke, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. Conventional training methods, e.g. treadmill training, require great physical effort from the therapists to assist the patient. A robotic training machine would be desirable in order to improve the training and to relieve the therapists. In addition to the general robot kinematics design issues, the designer of such a machine has to take into account several considerations specific to patient treatment In a rehabilitation clinic. Such a robotic walking simulator for neurological rehabilitation has been designed by our group and a prototype is currently being built. It will enable the therapist to let the machine move the patients feet on programmable foot trajectories (e.g. walking on plane floor, stepping stairs up and down, walking on rough surfaces, disturbances during walking). Therefore the patients feet will be fixed on two separate footplates mounted on the robot endeffectors. The highly dynamic robotic system can be used as a universal walking simulator, not only for rehabilitation purposes, i.e. as a haptic foot device for a variety of virtual ground conditions.

Published in:

Engineering in Medicine and Biology, 2002. 24th Annual Conference and the Annual Fall Meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society EMBS/BMES Conference, 2002. Proceedings of the Second Joint  (Volume:3 )

Date of Conference:

23-26 Oct. 2002