Method for positioning and rehabilitation training with the ExoAtlet® powered exoskeleton
Exoskeletons for locomotion, support, or other uses are becoming more common. An increasing number of studies are demonstrating relevant results in rehabilitation. Here we describe the steps required to properly place and train patients in ExoAtlet ® powered exoskeletons (Moscow, Russia), for which there is currently limited information available. These steps combine actions related to the hardware, software, as well as safety, rehabilitation, and psycho-emotional state of the subject. Training starts with a general preparation of the environment, the equipment, and the patient. When the actual training program begins, the patient needs to gradually learn to perform the different actions that will be required to control the exoskeleton. Initially, training requires transferring weight between legs to guarantee adequate equilibrium control. Then, actions assisted by computer-controlled motors begin, namely: standing up, walking in place, moving small distances and sitting down. As the patient becomes comfortable with the exoskeleton and the cardiovascular system becomes adjusted to the upright position, training can then include walking over longer distances, inclined planes, opening doors, and climbing stairs.
• Powered exoskeletons are becoming a common method in rehabilitation.
• The use of ExoAtlet® powered exoskeletons in clinical research requires manipulation of variables thought to promote rehabilitation, without compromising safety standards.
• The phases of training are: transferring weight between legs, walk in place, and walk over longer distances.