Serving as a research partner, Jefferson Moss-Magee Rehabilitation played a part in the development of the ReWalk Robotics designed as a gait training solution for patients with lower limb disabilities caused by a stroke or a spinal cord injury.
The ReWalk Restore™ is the first wearable ankle robot developed for post-stroke gait training in clinical rehabilitation. It is used by therapists for both overground walking and treadmill therapies. It provides robotic assistance to the ankle to improve walking for individuals with lower limb disability due to a stroke.
Battery-powered, the Restore system includes a soft exo-suit with a waist pack having motors that generate mechanical forces through cables attached to points on a calf wrap and an insole placed in the patient’s shoe. The waist pack integrates with a control unit and features a support handle for therapists to provide additional support to patients.
Cables are located anterior and posterior to the ankle. Retraction of the anterior cable lifts the foot and provides assistance in dorsiflexion (lifting of the foot upwards) for ground clearance while retraction of the posterior cable pulls up the patients heel to assist the plantarflexion (movement when foot pushes downward) to propel the body forward. Sensors clipped to the patient’s shoes measure gait and synchronize timing of the plantarflexion and dorsiflexion assistance in walking.
The ReStore assists in the propulsion and ground clearance of post-stroke walking to help people with stroke walk more normally. As a smart device, it reacts to patient speed and step length. With walking practice using the ReStore, patients can re-learn how to move their ankles on their own during walking, allowing them to walk faster and more naturally, while expending less energy.
The ReWalk is a motorized exoskeleton suit that enables patients with lower limb disabilities, including complete paralysis, to independently stand, walk, and—in some cases—climb stairs.
ReWalk consists of a lightweight wearable brace support suit, motorized joints, rechargeable batteries, an array of sensors and a computer-based control system. Worn around the legs, chest and back, it fits closely to the body on top of everyday clothing. Patient stability during ambulation is provided by concurrent use of crutches.
ReWalk contains intricate motion sensors that measure the patient’s upper body movements and shifts in gravity. These signals are processed by an onboard computer system that initiates and maintains walking in the desired direction at the appropriate speed.
By keeping patients upright on a daily basis and exercising their paralyzed limbs, ReWalk may alleviate many of the health problems associated with long-term immobility, including osteoporosis, pressure sores, and problems with the urinary, respiratory, cardiovascular and digestive systems. ReWalk also is an alternative to other walking assistive and standing devices. Likewise, patients who use ReWalk can reduce their dependence on powered wheelchairs and the oversized vehicles required to transport them.
Over the years, we have adopted a variety of innovative robotic technologies, including the REAL System virtual reality rehabilitation device, Armeo Therapy for occupational therapy, Lokomat™ for walking therapy, and the EksoNR exoskeleton for patients with severe weakness in the lower extremities.
Read about our collection of more than 25 robotic devices on the MossRehab.com.
For research-related inquiries, please e-mail Amanda Wikoff at Wikoffam@einstein.edu.
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