Developing a Wearable Ankle Rehabilitation Robotic Device for in-Bed Acute Stroke Rehabilitation

Yupeng Ren, Yi Ning Wu, Chung Yong Yang, Tao Xu, Richard L. Harvey, Li Qun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Ankle movement training is important in motor recovery post stroke and early intervention is critical to stroke rehabilitation. However, acute stroke survivors receive motor rehabilitation in only a small fraction of time, partly due to the lack of effective devices and protocols suitable for early in-bed rehabilitation. Considering the first few months post stroke is critical in stroke recovery, there is a strong need to start motor rehabilitation early, mobilize the ankle, and conduct movement therapy. This study seeks to address the need and deliver intensive passive and active movement training in acute stroke using a wearable ankle robotic device. Isometric torque generation mode under real-time feedback is used to guide patients in motor relearning. In the passive stretching mode, the wearable robotic device stretches the ankle throughout its range of motion to the extreme dorsiflexion forcefully and safely. In the active movement training mode, a patient is guided and motivated to actively participate in movement training through game playing. Clinical testing of the wearable robotic device on 10 acute stroke survivors over 12 sessions of feedback-facilitated isometric torque generation, and passive and active movement training indicated that the early in-bed rehabilitation could have facilitated neuroplasticity and helped improve motor control ability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7497501
Pages (from-to)589-596
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • Acute stroke rehabilitation
  • in-bed rehabilitation
  • motor relearning
  • therapeutic Intervention
  • wearable robotic device

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering

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