Exergaming with a pediatric exoskeleton: Facilitating rehabilitation and research in children with cerebral palsy

Thomas C. Bulea, Zachary F. Lerner, Andrew J. Gravunder, Diane L. Damiano

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

15 Scopus citations


Effective rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy (CP) requires intensive task-specific exercise but many in this population lack the motor capabilities to complete the desired training tasks. Providing robotic assistance is a potential solution yet the effects of this assistance are unclear. We combined a novel exoskeleton and exercise video game (exergame) to create a new rehabilitation paradigm for children with CP. We incorporated high density electroencephalography (EEG) to assess cortical activity. Movement to targets in the game was controlled by knee extension while standing. The distance between targets was the same with and without the exoskeleton to isolate the effect of robotic assistance. Our results show that children with CP maintain or increase knee extensor muscle activity during knee extension in the presence of synergistic robotic assistance. Our EEG findings also demonstrate that participants remained engaged in the exercise with robotic assistance. Interestingly we observed a developmental trajectory of sensorimotor mu rhythm in children with CP similar, though delayed, to those reported in typically developing children. While not the goal here, the exoskeleton significantly increased knee extension in 3/6 participants during use. Future work will focus on utilizing the exoskeleton to enhance volitional knee extension capability and in combination with EMG and EEG to study sensorimotor cortex response to progressive exercise in children with CP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2017 International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, ICORR 2017
EditorsFarshid Amirabdollahian, Etienne Burdet, Masia Lorenzo, Arash Ajoudani, Panagiotis Artemiadis, Sivakumar Balasubramanian, Angelo Basteris, Philipp Beckerle, Matteo Bianchi, David Braun, Marco Caimmi, Domenico Campolo, Leonardo Cappello, Raffaella Carloni, Tom Carlson, Maura Casadio, Claudio Castellini, Manuel Giuseppe Catalano, Glauco Augusto de Paula Caurin, Martina Coscia, Dalia De Santis, Ashish Deshpande, Giovanni Di Pino, Venketesh Dubey, Domenico Formica, Arturo Forner-Cordero, Sasha Blue Godfrey, Giorgio Grioli, Zhao Guo, Matthew Howard, Charmayne Hughes, Asif Hussain, Fumiya Iida, Nikolaos Karavas, Yasuharu Koike, Olivier Lambercy, Hyunglae Lee, Tommaso Lenzi, Laura Marchal-Crespo, Fulvio Mastrogiovanni, Stefano Mazzoleni, Andrew McDaid, Carlo Menon, Katja Mombaur, Domen Novak, Hyung-Soon Park, Davide Piovesan, Stanisa Raspopovic, Mo Rastgaar, Georg Rauter, Kyle B. Reed, C. David Remy, Carlos Rodriguez Guerrero, Renaud Ronsse, Stefano Rossi, Emanuele Ruffaldi, Ludovic Saint-Bauzel, Gionata Salvietti, Vittorio Sanguineti, Fabrizio Sergi, Adriano Siqueira, Gim Song Soh, Frank Sup, Nevio Luigi Tagliamonte, Nikos Tsagarakis, Ramazan Unal, Edwin van Asseldonk, Bram Vanderborght, Jan Veneman, Madhusudhan Venkadesan, Jacopo Zenzeri, Wenlong Zhang
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781538622964
StatePublished - Aug 11 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event2017 International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, ICORR 2017 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Jul 17 2017Jul 20 2017

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics
ISSN (Print)1945-7898
ISSN (Electronic)1945-7901


Conference2017 International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, ICORR 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Rehabilitation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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