Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

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

Emanuela Isabella Ferraro, Francesca Orofino, Maria Chiara Parisi, Maria Bellomo, Vincenzo Cristian Francavilla, Caterina Crescimanno



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.


Exoskeleton; Rehabilitation; Neurodegenerative diseases


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