Walking Assistance of Subjects with Spinal Cord Injury with an Ankle Exoskeleton and Neuromuscular Controller
This work was devoted to preliminary test the Achilles ankle exoskeleton and its NeuroMuscular Controller (NMC) with a test pilot affected by incomplete spinal cord injury. The customization of the robot controller, i.e. a subject-specific tailoring of the assistance level, was performed and a 10-session training to optimize human-robot interaction was finalized. Results demonstrated that controller tuning was in line with the functional clinical assessment. NMC adapted to the variable walking speed during the training and the test pilot was successfully trained in exploiting robotic support and also improved his performance in terms of walking speed and stability. After the training, a higher speed could also be achieved during free walking and hence a slight unexpected rehabilitation effect was evidenced.
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