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Robotic walking simulator for neurological gait rehabilitation

: Schmidt, H.; Sorowka, D.; Hesse, S.; Bernhardt, R.

Clark, J.W.:
Engineering in Medicine and Biology, 2002. Vol.3 : Proceedings of the Second Joint 24th Annual Conference and the Annual Fall Meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society EMBS/BMES Conference 2002
Piscataway: IEEE Service Center, 2002
ISBN: 0-7803-7612-9
ISSN: 0589-1019
Annual international conference of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) <24, 2002, Houston>
Annual fall meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) <2002, Houston>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IPK ()

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.