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IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng. 2018 Feb;26(2):451-459. doi: 10.1109/TNSRE.2017.2774295.

The Development and Preliminary Test of a Powered Alternately Walking Exoskeleton With the Wheeled Foot for Paraplegic Patients.


Upright walking has both physical and social meanings for paraplegic patients. The main purpose of this paper is to reduce the automatic functioning of the powered exoskeleton and enable the user to fully control the walking procedure in real-time, aiming to further improve the engagement of the patient during rehabilitation training. For this prototype, a custom-made hub motor was placed at the bottom of the exoskeleton's foot, and a pair of crutches with the embedded wireless controller were utilized as the auxiliary device. The user could alternatively press the button of the crutch to control the movement of the leg and by repeating this procedure, the user could complete a continuous walking motion. For safety, an automatic brake and mechanical limitation for maximum step length were implemented. A gait analysis was performed to evaluate the exoskeleton's motion capability and corresponding response of user's major muscles. The kinematic results of this paper showed that this exoskeleton could assist the user to walk in a motion trend close to the normally walk, especially for ankle joint. The electromyography results indicated that this exoskeleton could decrease the loading burden of the user's lower limb while requiring more involvements of upper-limb muscles to maintain balance while walking.

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