2014 年 3 巻 2 号 p. 249-253
Locomotor function is affected by neurological disorders such as stroke and spinal cord injury. Based on the results of animal studies, locomotor training with body weight unloading toward neuroplastic changes to improve walking function is conducted. However, in patients with severely impaired locomotor function, manual assistance by physical therapists is needed for stepping movements during locomotor training. Manual assistance places a heavy burden on therapists; therefore, various robots for locomotor training have been developed. One of these robots, Robot Suit HAL®, is a wearable robot developed in Japan that can produce assistive torque for stepping via actuators on the hip and knee joints. In this short review, information on robotic devices for locomotor training will be presented, and then recent results from feasibility studies using HAL for patients with neurological disorders will be explained.