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Volume 43 Number 5, August/September 2006
Pages 679 — 694

Abstract - Human-centered robotics applied to gait training and assessment

Robert Riener, Dr-Ing;1-2* Lars Lünenburger, Dr rer nat;2 Gery Colombo, PhD2-3

1Rehabilitation Engineering Group, Automatic Control Laboratory, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland; 2Spinal Cord Injury Center, University Hospital Balgrist, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; 3Hocoma, AG, Volketswil, Switzerland
Abstract — Robot-aided gait training can increase the duration and number of training sessions while reducing the number of therapists required for each patient. However, current automated gait trainers do not adapt their movement to the patient's muscular efforts and passive musculoskeletal properties. Furthermore, robot-aided training without therapists lacks the feedback required for patient assessment. In this article, we present results from the literature and our research to provide an overview of novel human-centered strategies for robot behaviors that are patient-cooperative and support motor-function assessment. Combining robot-aided training with robot-aided assessment will likely make future gait therapy easier, more comfortable, and more efficient. Broad clinical testing is still required for proving this assumption.
Key words: biofeedback, gait, gait therapy, human-centered, motor-function assessment, patient-cooperative, rehabilitation, robot-aided training, spasticity, treadmill training.

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