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Exoskeletons are wearable robots exhibiting a close cognitive and physical interaction with the human user. These are rigid robotic exoskeletal structures that typically operate alongside human limbs. Scientific and technological work on exoskeletons began in the early 1960s but have only recently been applied to rehabilitation and functional substitution in patients suffering from motor disorders. Key topics for further development of exoskeletons in rehabilitation scenarios include the need for robust human-robot multimodal cognitive interaction, safe and dependable physical interaction, true wearability and portability, and user aspects such as acceptance and usability. This discussion provides an overview of these aspects and draws conclusions regarding potential future research directions in robotic exoskeletons.
Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine, IEEE (Volume:29 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: May-June 2010