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Design and evaluation of the LOPES exoskeleton robot for interactive gait rehabilitation.

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Institute for Biomedical Technology (BMTI), University of Twente, 7500 EA Enschede, The Netherlands.


This paper introduces a newly developed gait rehabilitation device. The device, called LOPES, combines a freely translatable and 2-D-actuated pelvis segment with a leg exoskeleton containing three actuated rotational joints: two at the hip and one at the knee. The joints are impedance controlled to allow bidirectional mechanical interaction between the robot and the training subject. Evaluation measurements show that the device allows both a "patient-in-charge" and "robot-in-charge" mode, in which the robot is controlled either to follow or to guide a patient, respectively. Electromyography (EMG) measurements (one subject) on eight important leg muscles, show that free walking in the device strongly resembles free treadmill walking; an indication that the device can offer task-specific gait training. The possibilities and limitations to using the device as gait measurement tool are also shown at the moment position measurements are not accurate enough for inverse-dynamical gait analysis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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