Robotic devices for overground gait and balance training

Joseph M. Hidler*, Arno H.A. Stienen, Heike Vallery

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientific

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    In recent years, we have seen the emergence of numerous robotic technologies that focus on assisting individuals during overground gait and balance therapy following neurological injury and diseases. In general, these systems provide patients active body-weight support used for fall protection, to enhance postural stability, and to compensate for bilateral weakness during overground gait and balance training. As a result, such systems allow individuals the ability to practice the types of activities they will need to be competent in before returning to their home and into the community. The ability to walk overground, practice standing up and sitting down, climbing stairs, and other functional tasks are critical components of achieving functional independence yet are often difficult to safely practice for patients with significant levels of impairment. Not only is the patient at risk for injury but so too is the therapist. The integration of robotic technologies into neurorehabilitation can play a critical role in the safe and effective delivery of gait and balance therapy. The focus of this chapter is to present a range of robotic and non-robotic technologies that support overground gait and balance training, discuss the potential advantages and disadvantages of each, and provide a framework for how each may be useful in the clinical setting. Since the area of rehabilitation robotics is quickly expanding with many devices being developed in laboratories around the world, it is not possible for us to detail every technology. Instead, we will highlight a few of the devices and use them for providing a rationale for their usefulness in neurorehabilitation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNeurorehabilitation Technology
    EditorsDavid J. Reinkensmeyer, Volker Dietz
    Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
    EditionSecond Edition
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-28603-7
    ISBN (Print)978-3-319-28601-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Body-weight support
    • Gait
    • Rehabilitation
    • Robotics
    • Spinal cord injury
    • Stroke
    • Walking


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