ABLE: robotic exoskeleton that allows to walk naturally and intuitively after suffering a spinal cord injury
Type of activity
AGAUR. Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca
Funding entity code
2018 PROD 00059
ABLE is a technology that turns the orthopedic support, which the patient already has and uses for standing, into a robotic exoskeleton that restores the ability to walk naturally and intuitively after suffering a spinal cord injury. It is composed only by the essential mechanisms and sensors to promote functional recovery of gait: an actuation system at the knee that acts as an artificial muscle, a sensor in the leg that detects the user's intention to make a step forward, the electronics and the power supply. This modular approach produces a system with lower cost, which is crucial since there is no reimbursement for this technology at present; lighter, important to facilitate portability; more aesthetic and discrete, also essential for daily use acceptance; and more usable and simple, which allows the patient to use it autonomously at home without depending on others. ABLE allows to stand up from the wheelchair for a few hours a day and recover the ability to walk, which promotes the gait rehabilitation by neuronal plasticity and contributes to improving the physical condition and health, by decreasing the risk of developing secondary complications. In addition, its use favors an increase in self-esteem and independence by feeling the emotion of walking at the same height as other people do. All this has a significant improvement in the patient's quality of life.