Soft Exosuit for Post-Stroke Gait Retraining

Soft Exosuit for Post-Stroke Gait Retraining

This video explains how exosuit technology, developed at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, applied to ankle movements helps patients post-stroke regain a more normal gait. Credit: Rolex Awards/Wyss Institute at Harvard University

A Lightweight Soft Exosuit for Gait Assistance

Targeting a specific set of applications where a wearer needs some partial assistance from a robot, Researchers from the Harvard Biodesign Lab ( are pursuing a new paradigm: the use of soft clothing-like exosuits. An exosuit does not contain any rigid elements, so the wearer's bone structure must sustain all the compressive forces normally encountered by the body -- plus the forces generated by the exosuit. The suit, which is composed primarily of specially designed fabrics, can be significantly lighter than an exoskeleton since it does not contain a rigid structure. It also provides minimal restrictions to the wearer's motions, avoiding problems relating to joint misalignment. Ongoing work to optimize the suit design and make it portable is funded by DARPA's Warrior Web Program.

This Robot Exosuit Helps Stroke Patients Walk

Technology is offering a new hope for stroke victims who have difficulty walking.

About 80 percent of people who suffer strokes lose normal function of a limb and many have a hard time walking. But a new ankle-assisting exosuit could help them regain their stride.

The innovation involves small motors that activate as the patient walks, helping them move more symmetrically.

Similar systems have already been developed in the past, but they've confined patients to a treadmill. With this suit, patients can continue their rehabilitation outside of a clinic setting.

The suit has proved successful in a recent study, and researchers are now looking at ways to further develop the technology to focus on other joints, like the hip and knee.

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Mobility Enhancing Soft Exosuit at Harvard

Next generation wearable robots for enhancing mobility of healthy individuals and restoring mobility of those with physical disabilities via a more conformal and unobtrusive interface to the human body. To learn more visit the Harvard Biodesign Lab website at

Muscle Activation During Gait animation credit: K. Oberhofer, K. Mithraratne, N. S. Stott, I. A. Anderson (2009). Anatomically-based musculoskeletal modeling: prediction and validation of muscle deformation during walking. The Visual Computer, 25(9), 843 – 851

EKSO Bionic Suit for Gait Training Stroke Patients

Full story: ( EKSO Bionic Exoskeleton Successfully Used to Improve Gait After Stroke--@Medgadget)

Soft Exosuit for Running

Building upon previous soft exosuit technology, researchers at the Wyss Institute and Harvard SEAS have developed a soft exosuit for running. This exosuit applies forces to the hip joint using thin, flexible wires, assisting the muscles during each stride. Using an off-board actuation system, compared to not wearing the exosuit, this exosuit can reduce the metabolic cost of running by 5.4%.

Robotic walking training for stroke patients – Video abstract [ID 114102]

Video abstract of a review paper “Robot-assisted gait training for stroke patients: current state of the art and perspectives of robotics” published in the open access journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment by Morone G, Paolucci S, Cherubini A, et al.

Abstract: In this review, we give a brief outline of robot-mediated gait training for stroke patients, as an important emerging field in rehabilitation. Technological innovations are allowing rehabilitation to move toward more integrated processes, with improved efficiency and less long-term impairments. In particular, robot-mediated neurorehabilitation is a rapidly advancing field, which uses robotic systems to define new methods for treating neurological injuries, especially stroke. The use of robots in gait training can enhance rehabilitation, but it needs to be used according to well-defined neuroscientific principles. The field of robot-mediated neurorehabilitation brings challenges to both bioengineering and clinical practice. This article reviews the state of the art (including commercially available systems) and perspectives of robotics in poststroke rehabilitation for walking recovery. A critical revision, including the problems at stake regarding robotic clinical use, is also presented.

Read the review paper here:

ReWalk : Exoskeleton Suit to Help Stroke Patients Walk

ReWalk Robotics today debuted the prototype of its Restore soft suit exoskeleton designed to aid stroke survivors.

The company presented the prototype alongside collaborators from Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and said it would focus on the suit as a “core company goal” for the fiscal year.

“We are thrilled with the progress of the Restore system, which will provide life changing technology to a whole new class of patients facing mobility issues. With the prototype finished, we are eager to begin clinical studies and pursue regulatory approvals so that these systems can be provided to millions of patients who can benefit from access to the device,” CEO Larry Jasinki said in a prepared statement.

ReWalk said it is working with the Wyss Institute to develop lightweight designs for clinical studies, as well as to pursue regulatory clearance and commercialization of the device for the global market. The 1st application will be for stroke survivors, followed by devices designed for individuals with multiple sclerosis and other applications.

The Restore system is designed to transmit power to key joints of the legs with cable technology, powered by software and mechanics similar to those used in its ReWalk exoskeleton.

In April, shares in ReWalk Robotics dropped nearly 4% after an analyst with Barclays downgraded the stock, citing “lack of tangible progress” and increased competition from other players in the robot-assisted rehabilitation market.

Soft Arm Compliant Exoskeleton

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soft exoskeleton

Exoskeletons typically have to be adjusted to fit an individual user. This exoskeleton glove which is designed for force augmentation and rehabilitation uses soft robotics principles to produce a lightweight power assist device able to fit a broad range of different hand sizes without the need for adjustment and calibration.

Robotic Assistive Device for Hemiplegic Stroke Gait Training

ReWalk exoskeleton walking system

Marcelo Turnage, who has been in a wheelchair since a paralyzing car crash in 2002, describes the impact of the Rewalk exoskeleton on her life.

Fabric based Soft Robotic Sock for Post-stroke Robot-assisted Walking rehabilitation

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Lab-based actuation platform for performing human subjects experiments with soft wearable robots.

Hablamos con ... Soft Exosuits

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The soft exosuit

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TC Sessions: Robotics - ReWalk Exosuit

The ReWalk Exosuit makes it easier to carry a heavy load.

Watch a robotic exoskeleton help a stroke patient walk

DARPA-backed tech could decrease recovery time.

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Exoskeleton prevents seniors from falling

The first smart exoskeleton that recognizes the loss of balance – and prevents falling – has been developed by researchers in at Scuola Sant’Anna in Italy, EPFL in Switzerland, and tested at the Rehabilitation Center “Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi” in Florence.

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