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Paladyn, Journal of Behavioral Robotics

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Design and Pilot Study of a Gait Enhancing Mobile Shoe

Ismet Handzic / Eileen M. Barno / Erin V. Vasudevan / Kyle B. Reed
Published Online: 2012-03-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s13230-012-0010-7


Hemiparesis is a frequent and disabling consequence of stroke and can lead to asymmetric and ineffcient walking patterns. Training on a split-belt treadmill, which has two separate treads driving each leg at a different speed, can correct such asymmetries post-stroke. However, the effects of split-belt treadmill training only partially transfer to everyday walking over ground and extended training sessions are required to achieve long-lasting effects. Our aim is to develop an alternative device, the Gait Enhancing Mobile Shoe (GEMS), that mimics the actions of the split-belt treadmill, but can be used during over-ground walking and in one’s own home, thus enabling long-term training. The GEMS does not require any external power and is completely passive; all necessary forces are redirected from the natural forces present during walking. Three healthy subjects walked on the shoes for twenty minutes during which one GEMS generated a backward motion and the other GEMS generated a forward motion. Our preliminary experiments suggest that wearing the GEMS did cause subjects to modify coordination between the legs and these changes persisted when subjects returned to normal over-ground walking. The largest effects were observed in measures of temporal coordination (e.g., duration of double-support). These results suggest that the GEMS is capable of altering overground walking coordination in healthy controls and could potentially be used to correct gait asymmetries post-stroke.

Keywords: locomotion; hemiparesis; rehabilitation; shoe; asymmetric gait; adaptation; learning


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About the article

Received: 2011-11-01

Accepted: 2012-01-17

Published Online: 2012-03-30

Published in Print: 2011-12-01

Citation Information: Paladyn, Journal of Behavioral Robotics, Volume 2, Issue 4, Pages 193–201, ISSN (Online) 2081-4836, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s13230-012-0010-7.

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© Ismet Handzic et al.. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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