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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 2017, Article ID 9053630, 12 pages
Research Article

An Open-Structure Treadmill Gait Trainer: From Research to Application

1Beijing Key Laboratory of Rehabilitation Technical Aids for Old-Age and Disability and Key Laboratory of Rehabilitation Aids Technology and System of the Ministry of Civil Affairs and Engineering Research Center for Rehabilitation Aids of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, National Research Center for Rehabilitation Technical Aids, Beijing 100176, China
2Robotic Institute, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
3Key Laboratory for Biomechanics and Mechanobiology of Ministry of Education, School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Diansheng Chen; moc.361@sdnehc and Yubo Fan; nc.ude.aaub@nafobuy

Received 22 December 2016; Accepted 26 February 2017; Published 15 June 2017

Academic Editor: Yajing Shen

Copyright © 2017 Jian Li et al. 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.


Lower limb rehabilitation robots are designed to enhance gait function in individuals with motor impairments. Although numerous rehabilitation robots have been developed, only few of these robots have been used in practical health care, particularly in China. The objective of this study is to construct a lower limb rehabilitation robot and bridge the gap between research and application. Open structure to facilitate practical application was created for the whole robot. Three typical movement patterns of a single leg were adopted in designing the exoskeletons, and force models for patient training were established and analyzed under three different conditions, respectively, and then a control system and security strategy were introduced. After establishing the robot, a preliminary experiment on the actual use of a prototype by patients was conducted to validate the functionality of the robot. The experiment showed that different patients and stages displayed different performances, and results on the trend variations across patients and across stages confirmed the validity of the robot and suggested that the design may lead to a system that could be successful in the treatment of patients with walking disorders in China. Furthermore, this study could provide a reference for a similar application design.