Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 48 Number 4, 2011
   Pages 287  — 298

Abstract —  ZeroG: Overground gait and balance training system

Joseph Hidler, PhD;1-2* David Brennan, MBE;2 iian Black, MBE;2 Diane Nichols, PT;2-3 Kathy Brady, MSPT;2-3 Tobias Nef, PhD4

1Aretech, LLC, Ashburn, VA; 2Center for Applied Biomechanics and Rehabilitation Research and 3Physical Therapy Service, National Rehabilitation Hospital, Washington, DC; 4Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation Group, ARTORG Center for Biomedical and Engineering Research, Universit??t Bern, Universit??tsklinik und Poliklinik f??r Psychiatrie, Bern, Switzerland

Abstract — A new overground body-weight support system called ZeroG has been developed that allows patients with severe gait impairments to practice gait and balance activities in a safe, controlled manner. The unloading system is capable of providing up to 300 lb of static support and 150 lb of dynamic (or constant force) support using a custom-series elastic actuator. The unloading system is mounted to a driven trolley, which rides along an overhead rail. We evaluated the performance of ZeroG's unloading system, as well as the trolley tracking system, using benchtop and human-subject testing. Average root-mean-square and peak errors in unloading were 2.2 and 7.2 percent, respectively, over the range of forces tested while trolley tracking errors were less than 3 degrees, indicating the system was able to maintain its position above the subject. We believe training with ZeroG will allow patients to practice activities that are critical to achieving functional independence at home and in the community.

Key words: activities of daily living, balance, body-weight support, functional independence, gait, rehabilitation, robotics, spinal cord injury, stroke, walking.


View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 48, No. 4
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Hidler J, Brennan D, Black I, Nichols D, Brady K, Nef T. ZeroG : Overground gait and balance training system. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2011;48(4):287-98.
DOI:10.1682/JRRD.2010.05.0098
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Last Reviewed or Updated  Monday, May 9, 2011 3:00 PM

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