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Long-Term Effects of a Soft Robotic Suit on Gait Characteristics in Healthy Elderly Persons

1
School of Engineering, Yanbian University, Yanji 133002, China
2
School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Harbin Institute of Technology (Shenzhen), Shenzhen 518055, China
3
Faculty of Engineering, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 8190395, Japan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(9), 1957; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9091957
Received: 10 March 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Health Engineering)
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Abstract

As a walking assistive device for elderly persons, one of the major aims should be to improve and rehabilitate gait characteristics after long-term repeated use of the device. However, most of the existing research on walking assistive devices only emphasize their immediate effects, and there is limited research indicating the long-term effects. To address this gap, this paper experimentally validates the effects of our soft wearable robotic suit on gait characteristics of elderly persons after repeated use of the device for six weeks. Experimental results on four elderly subjects (age = 74.8 ± 5.0 year) show that, after six weeks of gait rehabilitation training by the robotic suit, the gait characteristics of the subjects were improved, leading to an increased walk ratio with an average of 9.8% compared with the initial state. The results of this research will benefit the potential use of the robotic suit in gait training and rehabilitation for elderly persons and also will be useful to the establishment of practical guidelines that maximize the training and rehabilitation effectiveness of the robotic suit. View Full-Text
Keywords: rehabilitation robotics; soft walking assistive robot; long-term effect; gait characteristics; elderly person rehabilitation robotics; soft walking assistive robot; long-term effect; gait characteristics; elderly person
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Jin, S.; Xiong, X.; Zhao, D.; Jin, C.; Yamamoto, M. Long-Term Effects of a Soft Robotic Suit on Gait Characteristics in Healthy Elderly Persons. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 1957.

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