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PubMed | Singapore Polytechnic Singapore 139651. and Nanyang Technological University
Type: | Journal: IEEE journal of translational engineering in health and medicine | Year: 2016

Therapist-assisted body weight supported (TABWS) gait rehabilitation was introduced two decades ago. The benefit of TABWS in functional recovery of walking in spinal cord injury and stroke patients has been demonstrated and reported. However, shortage of therapists, labor-intensiveness, and short duration of training are some limitations of this approach. To overcome these deficiencies, robotic-assisted gait rehabilitation systems have been suggested. These systems have gained attentions from researchers and clinical practitioner in recent years. To achieve the same objective, an over-ground gait rehabilitation system, NaTUre-gaits, was developed at the Nanyang Technological University. The design was based on a clinical approach to provide four main features, which are pelvic motion, body weight support, over-ground walking experience, and lower limb assistance. These features can be achieved by three main modules of NaTUre-gaits: 1) pelvic assistance mechanism, mobile platform, and robotic orthosis. Predefined gait patterns are required for a robotic assisted system to follow. In this paper, the gait pattern planning for NaTUre-gaits was accomplished by an individual-specific gait pattern prediction model. The model generates gait patterns that resemble natural gait patterns of the targeted subjects. The features of NaTUre-gaits have been demonstrated by walking trials with several subjects. The trials have been evaluated by therapists and doctors. The results show that 10-m walking trial with a reduction in manpower. The task-specific repetitive training approach and natural walking gait patterns were also successfully achieved.

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