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Neurological injuries caused by stroke, spinal cord injury or other illnesses and accidents often lead to walking disabilities. If not properly treated, gait disorders can lead to impaired physical and mental health, reduced physical activity, falls, fear of falling, loss of independence and the need for continuous medical care. After an accident or the start of an illness it is important to start the patient's gait rehabilitation process as soon as mental and physical conditions allow. Robotized rehabilitation systems have a number of potential benefits over traditional manual rehabilitation. These benefits include an increase in the effectiveness of the rehabilitation process, reduced costs of rehabilitation and reduced need for trained medical personnel. This paper presents details of the development of the concept of a mobile gait rehabilitation system consisting of a mobile base and powered exoskeleton. In particular, modeling and simulation of its mechanical system are considered. The presented simulation results demonstrate the need for including actuated translational degrees of freedom between the support platform and the exoskeleton to allow displacement of patient's pelvis and practice of dynamically balanced walking.
Date of Conference: 18-22 Oct. 2010