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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 1, Issue 2, Pages 197-216
http://dx.doi.org/10.1260/2040-2295.1.2.197
Research Article

Locomotor Training in Subjects with Sensori-Motor Deficits: An Overview of the Robotic Gait Orthosis Lokomat

R. Riener,1 L. Lünenburger,2 I. C. Maier,3 G. Colombo,2 and V. Dietz4

1ETH Zürich, Sensory-Motor Systems Lab, University Hospital Balgrist, Tannenstrasse 1, 8092 Zürich, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland
2University Hospital Balgrist, 8008 Zurich, Switzerland. Now Hocoma AG, Volketswil, Switzerland
3Brain Research Institute, University of Zurich, 8008 Zurich, Switzerland. Now Hocoma AG, Volketswil, Switzerland
4University Hospital Balgrist, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

It is known that improvement in walking function can be achieved in patients suffering a movement disorder after stroke or spinal cord injury by providing intensive locomotor training. Rehabilitation robots allow for a longer and more intensive training than that achieved by conventional therapies. Robot assisted treadmill training also offers the ability to provide objective feedback within one training session and to monitor functional improvements over time. This article provides an overview of the technical features and reports the clinical data available for one of these systems known as "Lokomat". First, background information is given for the neural mechanisms of gait recovery. The basic technical approach of the Lokomat system is then described. Furthermore, new features are introduced including cooperative control strategies, assessment tools and augmented feedback. These features may be capable of further enhancing training intensity and patient participation. Findings from clinical studies are presented covering the feasibility as well as efficacy of Lokomat assisted treadmill training.