Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Review of hybrid exoskeletons to restore gait following spinal cord injury

Antonio J. del-Ama, Eng MSc, et al.

Figure 5. Functional electrical stimulation (FES)-open loop control scheme. Variants of this control scheme are implemented in Popovic et al.
[1], Kobetic et al. [2], Farris et al. [3], Kangude et al. [4], and Obinata et al. [5].  = joint angle,  = joint angular velocity, act = actual,
I = inertia, T = torque.
1. Popovic D, Tomovi R, Schwirtlich L. Hybrid assistive system—the motor neuroprosthesis. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 1989;36(7):
2. Kobetic R, To CS, Schnellenberger JR, Audu ML, Bulea TC, Gaudio R, Pinault G, Tashman S, Triolo RJ. Development of hybrid
orthosis for standing, walking, and stair climbing after spinal cord injury. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2009;46(3):447–62.
3. Farris RJ, Quintero HA, Withrow TJ, Goldfarb M. Design and simulation of a joint-coupled orthosis for regulating FES-aided gait.
2009 IEEE 11th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics; 2009 Jun 23–26; Kyoto, Japan. Piscataway (NJ): IEEE;
2009. p. 1916–22.
4. Kangude A, Burgstahler B, Kakastys J, Durfee W. Single channel hybrid FES gait system using an energy storing orthosis: preliminary
design. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2009;2009:6798–6801.
5. Obinata G, Ogisu T, Hase K, Kim Y, Genda E. State estimation of walking phase and functional electrical stimulation by wearable
device. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Bio Soc. 2009;2009:5901–4.

Losing the ability to walk is one of the most disabling impairments after a spinal cord injury. Among the technologies developed to recover walking ability, stimulating the person’s own muscles or using active orthoses (also called robotic exoskeletons) are promising areas in which research and development are being done. While several drawbacks hamper widespread use of each technology, combining the technologies can overcome the disadvantages of each. One such combined system is the hybrid exoskeleton (or hybrid orthosis). We review the hybrid exoskeletons developed to restore walking ability, present recent developments in the field, and identify areas in which more research is need.

Volume 49 Number 4, 2012
   Pages 497 — 514

View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 49, No. 4
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
del-Ama AJ, Koutsou AD, Moreno JC, de-los-Reyes A, Gil-Agudo A, Pons JL. Review of hybrid exoskeletons to restore gait following spinal cord injury. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2012;49(4):497–514.

Last Reviewed or Updated  Wednesday, May 30, 2012 10:16 AM

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