Journal of Advanced Mechanical Design, Systems, and Manufacturing
Online ISSN : 1881-3054
ISSN-L : 1881-3054
Development of a Whole Body Motion Support Type Mobile Suit and Evaluation of Cerebral Activity Corresponding to the Cortical Motor Areas
ジャーナル フリー

2013 年 7 巻 1 号 p. 82-94


We developed a new whole body motion support type mobile suit. This suit can be used separately for supporting the upper and/or lower limbs, for assisting in ADL (Activities of Daily Living). We also developed a mobile lifter system which can bear both the equipped person and the suit. This suit and the lifter can be used by motor palsy patients, people who have suffered a stroke, spinal-cord-injury patients, and people with central nerve disorders. Using this device, these patients can recover normal gait with no risk of falling. In this paper, the cerebral activity during walking using the suit and normal gait without the suit are compared. According to multiple trials with the suit on a treadmill, the activities of the premotor area sensory motor cortex decreased. Especially, while walking using the suit for supporting lower limbs without swinging arms, the cerebral activities of most of the areas decreased. This data shows that it bcomes ineffective for patients accustomed to the suit in rehabilitation. However, on the contrary, by walking while swinging bilateral arms (even though these arms were assisted by the suit), the activity in the supplementary motor area increased (this area of the brain is related with memory of motion). Furthermore, the cerebral activities while walking on a treadmill and while walking in a corridor with an outside view were compared using NIRS (Near-Infrared Spectroscopy). From the results of this experiment, we found it is most effective for gait training to actually walk and not stay fixed in one location. We also found it is important for patients to swing their arms during gait training in rehabilitation.

© 2013 by The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers