Recent Results from Evaluation of Soft Wearable Robots in Clinical Populations

  • Conor WalshEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Biosystems & Biorobotics book series (BIOSYSROB, volume 22)


We have been on developing new approaches to design, manufacture, and control soft wearable robotic devices and characterizing their performance through biomechanical and physiological studies so as to further the scientific understanding of how humans interact with such machines. Example application areas include enhancing the mobility of healthy individuals such as soldiers walking with a heavy load, restoring the mobility of patients with gait deficits such as those poststroke, and assisting those with upper extremity weakness to perform activities of daily living such as patients with a spinal cord injury. This abstract summarizes recent results from evaluation of these devices in clinical populations.



This research is the result of a multidisciplinary team from Harvard University, Boston University and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF #1446464 and #1454472), the National Institutes of Health (BRG R01HD088619), Harvard SEAS and Wyss Institute.


  1. 1.
    Awad, L., Bae, J., O’Donnell, K., De Rossi, S., Hendron, K., Sloot, L., Kudzia, P., Holt, K., Ellis, T., Walsh, C.: Soft wearable robots improve walking function and economy after stroke. Sci. Transl. Med. 9(400), eaai9084 (2017)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Awad, L., Bae, J., Kudzia, P., O’Donnell, K., De Rossi, S., Hendron, K., Holt, K., Ellis, T., Walsh, C.: Reducing poststroke gait compensations through targeted assistance of paretic ankle function using a soft wearable exosuit. Am. J. Phys. Med. Rehabil. (AJPMR) 96(10), S157–S164 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bae, J., Awad, L., Long, A., O’Donnell, K., Hendron, K., Holt, K., Ellis, T., Walsh, C.: Biomechanical mechanisms underlying exosuit-induced improvements in walking economy after stroke. J. Exp. BiolGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Polygerinos, P., Wang, Z., Galloway, K.C., Wood, R.J., Walsh, C.J.: Soft robotic glove for combined assistance and at-home rehabilitation. Robot. Auton. Syst. (RAS) Spec. Issue Wearable Robot. 73, 135–143 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cappello, L., Galloway, K., Sanan, S., Wagner, D., Granberry, R., Engelhardt, S., Haufe, F., Peisner, J., Walsh, C.: Exploiting textile mechanical anisotropy for fabric-based pneumatic actuators. Soft Rob. (2018, in press)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cappello, L., Meyer, J., Galloway, K., Peisner, J., Granberry, R., Wagner, D., Engelhardt, S., Paganoni, S., Walsh, C.: Assisting hand function after spinal cord injury with a fabric-based soft robotic glove. J. Neuro Eng. Rehabil. (2018, in press)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    O’Neill, C., Phipps, N., Cappello, L., Paganoni, S., Walsh, C.: Soft robotic shoulder support: design, characterization, and preliminary testing. In: 15th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR), London, July 2017Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Engineering and Applied Science and Core Faculty with the Wyss InstituteHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

Personalised recommendations