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Entwicklung eines robotergestützten Laufsimulators zur Gangrehabilitation

Development of a robotic walking simulator for gait rehabilitation
: Schmidt, H.; Sorowka, D.; Hesse, S.; Bernhardt, R.


Biomedizinische Technik 48 (2003), No.10, pp.281-286
ISSN: 0013-5585
ISSN: 1862-278X
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IPK ()

Restoration of gait is a major concern of rehabilitation after stroke or spinal cord injury. Modern concepts of motor learning favour a task-specific repetitive approach, i.e. "whoever wants to learn to walk again must walk." However, the physical demands this places on the therapist, is a limiting factor in the clinical routine setting. This article describes a robotic walking simulator for gait training that enables wheelchair-bound subjects to freely carry out repetitive practicing of an individually adapted gait pattern under simulation of the manual guidance of an experienced therapist. The technical principle applied makes use of programmable footplates with permanent foot/machine contact in combination with compliance control. The solution chosen comprises a planar parallel-serial hybrid kinematic system with three degrees of freedom that moves the feet in the sagittal plane. Gait analysis while floor walking and stair climbing, clinical practicability and safety aspects were the basis for the design. A variable compliance control enables man-machine interaction. ranging from purely position controlled movement to full compliance during swing phase above a virtual ground profile. In full compliance mode the robotic walking simulator behaves like a haptic device. The concept presented offers new prospects for individualised gait rehabilitation.