Robotic training offers the greatest benefit to patients early in their rehabilitation programs, when they may not be able to walk at all without the assistance of a robot. Robots would guide patients as they move their legs on the treadmill, with the exoskeleton providing consistent corrective assistance when its sensors detected the patient deviating from a predetermined normal gait pattern. The end result is that the patients' legs would always move normally, with the patients doing what they could with their muscles, and the exoskeleton making up the difference with its motors. When a robot guides limb motions, the patient's body may adapt automatically by minimizing energy expenditure. Several groups are now exploring impedance control, where robot would simulate a springlike resistance to deviation from the desired movement trajectory. Robots that guide patient motions in this way might behave much like the way our own limbs respond when we encounter a disturbance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes