Development of Exoskeletons and Applications on Rehabilitation
Division of Intelligent and Bio-mimetic Machinery, The State Key Laboratory of Tribology, Tsinghua University, China
For over a century, the development of exoskeletons experienced five periods including sprout, exploration, dormancy, accumulation and climax period from a concept in 19th century to applications in distinctive fields in 21th century. Recently, exoskeletons are applied in military, civilian and rehabilitation to augment the travel and loading abilities of soldiers, increase an operator’s load-handling capabilities, reduce the occurrence of musculoskeletal disorders, and improve the lost functions and quality of life of patients, respectively. Aiming at lessening the strain on physical therapists to train patients with severe or degenerative disabilities, motor cognitive limitation and improving their quality of life, exoskeletons are applied on the field of rehabilitation, mainly on patient training and locomotion. Although great progress has been made in the century long effort to design and implement exoskeletons, many design challenges still remain including powered devices, the comfort of human-machine interface and how to effectively understand the wearer’s intensions.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.