Volume 51 Number 2, 2014
Pages 229 — 244
Abstract — The objectives of this study were to test whether a hybrid neuroprosthesis (HNP) with an exoskeletal variable-constraint hip mechanism (VCHM) combined with a functional neuromuscular stimulation (FNS) controller can maintain upright posture with less upper-limb support and improve gait speed as compared with walking with either an isocentric reciprocating gait orthosis (IRGO) or FNS only. The results show that walking with the HNP significantly reduced forward lean in FNS-only walking and the maximum upper-limb forces by 42% and 19% as compared with the IRGO and FNS-only gait, respectively. Walking speed increased significantly with VCHM as compared with 1:1 reciprocal coupling and by 15% when using the sensor-based FNS controller as compared with HNP with fixed baseline stimulation without the controller active.
Key words: exoskeleton, functional neuromuscular stimulation, gait, hybrid neuroprosthesis, reciprocating gait orthosis, sensor-based hip control, spinal cord injury, trunk support, walking, walking in paraplegia.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Thursday, May 8, 2014 11:29 AM