The goal of the LOPES project (LOwer-extremity Powered ExoSkeleton) is to develop a robotic device (LOPES) for gait training and assessment of motor function in stroke survivors. This involves designing the mechanical setup of the exoskeleton as well as its control structure. LOPES will be used to optimize the functional outcome of (robot-aided) gait training in chronic stroke survivor
Regaining walking ability is one of the major goals during rehabilitation after stroke, as this ability greatly determines the level of socio/economic participation and the overall physical health of patients. There is growing scientific evidence that task specific and intensive training of actively performed movements results in the largest functional improvement. Yet, routine application of such training faces some serious problems. Providing intensive task-specific training is very labor-intensive and puts therapists at risk of injury. The aging of the population will aggravate this situation, as it results in an increase in the number of patients. At the same time a decrease in the number of available therapists is expected. By using robotic devices to provide the patient with the required support, these problems can be circumvented.