GOGOA (www.gogoa.eu) has developed the BELK system, a wearable robotic device that can be used for knee rehabilitation, in the sub-acute phase of knee injuries. It incorporates “assisted-as-needed” control and Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) features, helping to speed-up and to improve the rehabilitation process.
Assisted-as-needed control allows creating a force field along the desired trajectory, proportionally applying torque only when the patient deviates from the pre-programmed correct pattern. This force field control, by assisting only the segments that the patient need, produces a natural gait pattern, improving the rehabilitation process.
Moreover, integration with muscular electrical stimulation (FES) accelerates this process. The algorithm we have developed commands simultaneously the assist as a needed loop (force, speed, and position) of the BELK device and the Functional Electro Stimulation array of electrodes to induce the muscles contraction – extension in each knee movement coordinated in real time. This innovation makes knee rehabilitation process more efficient and effective, activating muscles and generating controlled knee gait obtaining better rehabilitation in less time.
The system is designed to be used also at home, with no need to go to the rehabilitation center, saving money and time.
A redesign of the product has been done in order to make the exoskeleton more comfortable.
New bag for the battery
A new bag for the battery has been chosen. It is a bag pack which makes the user walk with the exoskeleton more comfortable and balanced.
The thigh orthosis has been redesigned with a strong material in order to make the product more functional. Moreover, the straps chosen are easy to take off and put on.
A new strap for the heel has been added. With this modification, the exoskeleton works better and the transmission of the forces are more controlled.