Training balance recovery in people with incomplete SCI wearing a wearable exoskeleton

E. H.F. van Asseldonk, A. Emmens, T. J.H. Brug, I. Pisotta, M. Arquilla, F. Tamburella, M. Masciullo, N. L. Tagliamonte, R. Valette, M. Molinari, H. van der Kooij

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Improving stability of people wearing a lower extremity Wearable Exoskeleton (WE) is one of the biggest challenges in the field. The goal of this preliminary study was to improve balance recovery from perturbations in people with incomplete Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) assisted by a WE with specifically developed balance controller. The WE has actuated ankle and knee joints, which were controlled by using a body sway-based balance controller. Two test pilots participated in 5 training sessions, devoted to enhance the use of the robot, and in pre/post assessments. Their balance during quiet standing was perturbed through pushes in forward direction. The controller was effective in supporting balance recovery in both tests pilots as reflected by a smaller sway amplitude and recovery time when compared with a minimal impedance controller. Moreover, the training resulted in a further reduction of the sway amplitude and recovery time in one of the test pilots whereas it had not an additional beneficial effect for the other subject. In conclusion, the novel balance controller can effectively assist people with incomplete SCI in maintaining standing balance and a dedicated training has the potential to further improve balance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWearable Robotics: Challenges and Trends
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Wearable Robotics, WeRob2018
EditorsMC Carrozza, JL Pons, S Micera
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-01887-0
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-01886-3
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventInternational Symposium on Wearable Robotics, WeRob2018 - Pisa, Italy
Duration: 16 Oct 201820 Oct 2018
Conference number: 4

Publication series

NameBiosystems and Biorobotics
ISSN (Print)2195-3562
ISSN (Electronic)2195-3570


ConferenceInternational Symposium on Wearable Robotics, WeRob2018
Abbreviated titleWeRob2018

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