Transferring Elementary Characteristics of Human Gait to Mobile Robotic Gait Rehabilitation System

Andrej Olenšek, Zlatko Matjačić, Roko Tschakarow, Markus Tüttemann, and Thomas Brendel


Exoskeleton, rehabilitation exoskeleton, sagittal plane, frontal plane, transversal plane


Rehabilitation exoskeletons are becoming important elements of gait rehabilitation after spinal cord injury, neurological injury or traumatic brain injury. Current designs assume relatively confined movement that is almost exclusively in domain of sagittal plane. However, human gait is three dimensional movement that requires synchronized control of cyclical leg movement and forward progression in sagittal plane, weight transfer in frontal plane and turning in transversal plane. Therefore, rehabilitation exoskeletons inevitably impose kinematic constraints than prohibit training of more challenging movement maneuvers such as weight transfer or turning. We suggest novel mobile robotic gait rehabilitation system that tries to bridge this gap and offer complete three dimensional gait training. To optimize configuration of such system we reviewed kinematics of human movement in sagittal, frontal and transversal planes in terms of elementary walking mechanisms and identified those degrees of freedom that contribute most. Integrating these degrees of freedom suggest that such system aims at cognitively more fit subjects that have the capacity to deliver basic gait function but require further training to improve weight transfer, turning or balance.

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