Exoskeletons are an increasingly common tool in rehabilitation. However most need to be used with crutches or a walking frame.
“These robotic rehabilitation systems have the potential to offer individualized therapy, increased efficiency of training at a lower cost, and new sensing capabilities to the physical therapist to quantify patient’s progress.
The availability of safe and reliable robotic therapy can also facilitate intense practice – at a reasonable cost- as well as continuous challenge during rehabilitation, which is known to accelerate recovery and improve rehabilitation outcomes.
However, most exoskeleton devices are currently limited to patients with intact upper body function for aided support via crutches (a notable exception is REX, which does not require crutches for balancing and stability). This is an important limitation in current exoskeleton systems as stroke patients and quadriplegics lack control on at least one side of their bodies and cannot use a walker or crutches to stabilize their body effectively”.