Artificial musculature: An overview of the different exoskeleton models and their applications


  • Emanuela Isabella Ferraro University of Enna “Kore”, Italy
  • Francesca Orofino University of Enna “Kore”, Italy
  • Maria Chiara Parisi University of Enna “Kore”, Italy
  • Maria Bellomo University of Enna “Kore”, Italy
  • Vincenzo Cristian Francavilla University of Enna “Kore”, Italy
  • Caterina Crescimanno University of Enna “Kore”, Italy



Exoskeleton, Rehabilitation, Neurodegenerative diseases


Recovery of upper and lower limbs function is essential to reach independence in patients with neurodegenerative diseases. The exoskeleton is an external wearable structure that provide to increase the physical capabilities with important applications in medical and rehabilitative therapy. Robotic exoskeletons for upper and lower limbs, based on the principle of motor learning, have been introduced in neurorehabilitation. The treatment must be individualized according to the characteristics of the patient, to provide him all the help necessary for the improvement of his quality of life. Wearable exoskeletons have potential for a number of applications including early rehabilitation, promoting physical exercise, and may improve mobility and independence, moreover, may reduce secondary health conditions related to sedentariness, with all the advantages that this entails. This work focuses on the importance of using the exoskeleton for the rehabilitation of people with neurodegenerative diseases and problems related to loss of motor skills, highlighting the benefits of this type of rehabilitation compared to traditional physical therapy. In conclusion, these devices represent an important turning point in the lives of many disabled people for their independence but also for their assistance. The hope for the future is to be able to permanently replace the wheelchair.


Download data is not yet available.


Chen, B., Ma, H., Qin, L. H., Gao, F., Chan, K. M., Law, S. W., Qin, L., & Liao, W. H. (2015). Recent developments and challenges of lower extremity exoskeletons. Journal of Orthopedic Translation. Hong Kong, China.

De Luca, A., Bellitto, A., Massone, A., Leoncini, C., Marchesi, G., Pellegrino, L., Rossi, L., Coscia, M., Casadio, M., Mandraccia, S., & Gamba, S. (2019). Exoskeleton for Gait Rehabilitation: Effects of Assistance, Mechanical Structure, and Walking Aids on Muscle Activations. Genoa, Italy.

Di Maio, G., Monda, V., Messina, A., Polito, R., Monda M., Tartaglia, N., Ambrosio, A., Pisanelli, D., Asmundo, A., Di Nunno, N., Ametta, A., Villano, I., & Francavilla, V. C. (2020). Physical Activity and modification of lifestyle induce benefits on the health status. Acta Medica Mediterranea.

Fleerkotte, B. M., Koopman, B., Buurke, J. H., van Asseldonk, E. H., van der Kooij, H., & Rietman, J. S. (2014). The effect of impedance-controlled robotic gait training on walking ability and quality in individuals with chronic incomplete spinal cord injury: an explorative study. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation.

Foti, C., Annino, G., D'Ottavio, S., Sensi, F., Tsarpela, O., Masala, S., Magni, E., Tranquilli, C., Francavilla, C., & Bosco, C. (2009). Preliminary study on the effects of high magnitude, low frequency of whole body vibration in physical activity of osteoporotic woman. Orthopedic Area.

Holanda, L. J., Silva, P. M., Amorim, T. C., Lacerda, M. O., Simão, C. R., & Morya, E. (2017). Robotic assisted gait as a tool for rehabilitation of individuals with spinal cord injury: a systematic review. Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation, vol. 14, no. 1, p.126.

Kapsalyamov, A., Jamwal, K.P. (2019). State of the Art Lower Limb Robotic Exoskeletons for Elderly Assistance", Journal of Orthopaedic Translation.

Molteni F., Gasperini, G., & Cannaviello, G. (2018). Exoskeleton and end-effector robots for upper and lower limbs rehabilitation: narrative review. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, vol. 11, no. 1, p. 26.

Read, E., Woolsey, C., McGibbon, C. A., & O'Connell, C. (2020). Physiotherapists' Experiences Using the Ekso Bionic, Exoskeleton with Patients in a Neurological Rehabilitation Hospital: A Qualitative Study, Rehabilitation Research and Practice. Rehabilitation Research and Practice.

Simeonov, S., Veneva, I., (2019) Active Orthoses of the lower limbs. Survey and Preliminary Investigation, Rehabilitation Robotics.

Swank, C., Wang-Price, S., Gao, F., & Almutairi, S. (2019). Walking With a Robotic Exoskeleton Does Not Mimic Natural Gait: A Within-Subjects Study. JMIR Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies, v. 6, issue 1, e11023, p. 1-10. Dallas, TX.


Statistics RUA



How to Cite

Ferraro, E. I., Orofino, F., Parisi, M. C., Bellomo, M., Francavilla, V. C., & Crescimanno, C. (2021). Artificial musculature: An overview of the different exoskeleton models and their applications. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 16(3proc), S892-S904.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>