Neurorobotic and hybrid approaches for gait rehabilitation in spinal cord injury

Antonio J. Del-Ama*, Juan C. Moreno, Ańgel Gil-Agudo, Jose L Pons

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

A neurobot (NR) is a mechatronic wearable robot that can be applied to drive a paralyzed limb. Through the application of controllable forces, a NR can assist, replace or retrain a certain motor function. Robotic intervention in rehabilitation of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) motor disorders has a potential to improve traditional therapeutic interventions. Because of its flexibility, repeatability and quantifiability, NRs have been more and more applied in neurorehabilitation, although most of the developed system stay on prototype stage, due to this technology still has to overcome barriers related to portability and user-perception. Besides, the use of Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) for gait compensation has been widely explored for gait compensation in SCI subjects, in which the own muscles of the user are stimulated by electrical impulses to generate joint movement. However, the use of FES also presents challenges that prevent the widespread use for gait compensation, as muscle fatigue onset and fine control of joint trajectories. Therefore, combination of NRs with functional electrical stimulation/therapy constitutes a trend to overcome a number of practical limitations to widespread the application of NRs in clinical settings and motor control studies. In this chapter we aim to examine the motor learning principles, robotic control approaches and novel developments from studies with NRs and hybrid systems, with a focus on rehabilitation of the lower limbs in SCI patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpinal Cord Injuries
Subtitle of host publicationCauses, Risk Factors and Management
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Pages289-308
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781620818664
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012

Keywords

  • Exoskeleton
  • Functional electrical stimulation
  • Gait
  • Neurological diseases.
  • Neurorobot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)

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