Recent developments and challenges of lower extremity exoskeletons

Bing Chen, Hao Ma, Lai Yin Qin, Fei Gao, Kai Ming Chan, Sheung Wai Law, Ling Qin*, Wei Hsin Liao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

350 Citations (Scopus)


The number of people with a mobility disorder caused by stroke, spinal cord injury, or other related diseases is increasing rapidly. To improve the quality of life of these people, devices that can assist them to regain the ability to walk are of great demand. Robotic devices that can release the burden of therapists and provide effective and repetitive gait training have been widely studied recently. By contrast, devices that can augment the physical abilities of able-bodied humans to enhance their performances in industrial and military work are needed as well. In the past decade, robotic assistive devices such as exoskeletons have undergone enormous progress, and some products have recently been commercialized. Exoskeletons are wearable robotic systems that integrate human intelligence and robot power. This paper first introduces the general concept of exoskeletons and reviews several typical lower extremity exoskeletons (LEEs) in three main applications (i.e. gait rehabilitation, human locomotion assistance, and human strength augmentation), and provides a systemic review on the acquisition of a wearer's motion intention and control strategies for LEEs. The limitations of the currently developed LEEs and future research and development directions of LEEs for wider applications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-37
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Translation
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

User-Defined Keywords

  • Control strategy
  • Gait rehabilitation
  • Human locomotion assistance
  • Medical device
  • Motion intention acquisition


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