Virtual Body-Weight Support via Lower-Limb Exoskeleton



This is a novel control system for powered lower-limb exoskeletons (or orthoses) that provides body-weight support (BWS) for people who have sustained a stroke and other neurological injury. Patients are provided with BWS during conventional gait retraining to help them produce the coordinated muscle activities needed for walking. Although current powered exoskeletons address the challenge of mobility, their control systems follow pre-defined joint patterns while offloading body-weight. These conventional exoskeleton control systems discourage patients from actively participating in the training process and do not allow patients to relearn their own natural walking gait. The proposed control system virtually provides BWS by reducing the gravitational forces that must be counteracted by the patient’s muscles during locomotion without pre-defined patterns, which could allow patients to relearn their natural walking gaits while training outside of clinical environments.




The conventional technique provides weight support for patients through a torso or hip harness attached to an overhead lift. However, conventional BWS training systems are stationary (i.e., mounted to a ceiling or above a treadmill) and labor-intensive for clinicians (who must move the full weight of the limbs), which constrains the patients’ therapies to clinical environments and greatly reduces the efficiency and frequency of training.


Key Benefits:

•       Patients can practice their own natural walking gait

•       Amount of BWS can be adjusted to fit patient’s needs and progress

•       Significantly less labor-intensive for clinicians and physical therapists


Potential Applications:

•       Any motorized orthotic device or exoskeleton could be an embodiment of this control technology


IP Status: Patent pending


Licensing Opportunity: This technology is available for exclusive or non-exclusive licensing


Publication Link:



ID Number: 15064

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
OTC Licensing
Robert Gregg
Ge Lv
Hanqi Zhu
Engineering & Physical Sciences
Life Sciences
Medical Devices
Research Tools
Sensors & Controls
Signal Processing
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