State-of-the-art robotic gait rehabilitation orthoses

Robot assisted gait training is a quickly evolving rehabilitation practice. Various robotic orthoses have been developed during the past two decades for the gait training of patients suffering from neurologic injuries. These robotic orthoses can provide systematic gait training and reduce the work load of physical therapists. Biomechanical gait parameters can also be recorded and analysed more precisely as compared to manual physical therapy. This is a review of robotic orthoses developed for providing gait training of neurologically impaired patients is provided in this paper. Recent developments in the mechanism design and actuation methods of these robotic gait training orthoses are presented. Control strategies developed for these robotic gait training orthoses in the recent years are discussed in detail as well. These control strategies have the capability to provide customised gait training according to the disability level and stage of rehabilitation of neurologically impaired subjects. A detailed discussion regarding the mechanism design, actuation and control strategies with potential developments and improvements is provided at the end of the paper.

A number of robotic orthoses and novel control strategies have been developed to provide gait training according to the disability level of patients and have exhibited encouraging results. There is a need to develop improved robotic mechanisms, actuation methods and control strategies that can provide naturalistic gait patterns, safe human-robot interaction and customized gait training, respectively. Extensive clinical trials need to be carried out to ascertain the efficacy of these robotic rehabilitation orthoses.

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