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Industrial research creates intelligent exoskeletons

Robotic support systems will play a major role in medical rehabilitation for the foreseeable future. The first successful examples of engineering for stroke patients and paraplegics already exist.

28 Jun. 2018
Industrial research creates intelligent exoskeletons (Photo: Johannes Teiwes / Niels Will, DFKI GmbH)

The Robotics Innovation Center of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), in cooperation with the company rehaworks , has developed a mobile robot-based exoskeleton for stroke patients as part of the Recupera REHA project. The interdisciplinary research team previously worked for three years on a whole body exoskeleton that supports the musculoskeletal system from the outside. The rehabilitation system presented now is a subsystem for the upper body that can be controlled by the patient (or another person).

It is appropriate that the GKV-Spitzenverband recently added an exoskeleton to the catalogue of therapeutic appliances of health insurance providers for the first time. The ReWalk Personal 6.0 from ReWalk Robotics was approved with the indication “bilateral paralysis of the hip, thigh and lower leg musculature (paraplegia) and loss of walking ability” and allows people with fully paralyzed legs to stand and walk independently.