ALTACRO: Design of the gait rehabilitation robot

Branko Brackx, Victor Grosu, Dirk Lefeber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)Research


The ALTACRO prototype is designed to study new concepts that may enhance the quality of automated step rehabilitation training, such as active ankle assistance, compliant actuators, etc. The project outcome is an exoskeleton robot that operates on a treadmill. Two slim and lightweight leg structures closely fit the patient's legs and are capable of providing assistive torques on hip-, knee- and ankle joints. The robotic legs are actuated at the level of the pelvis by a sturdy supporting structure, which provides body-weight support and balance assistance. The total system contains 12 actuated degrees of freedom (DoF) which compliantly provide assisting forces or torques. The compliance of the active DoF together with several passive DoF leave sufficient freedom for natural walking dynamics. The blend of active and passive robotic DoF must provide effective assistance at many important anatomic joints, while still ensuring safe support.

The hip-, knee- and ankle flexion/extension are powered by a customized design of the MACCEPA actuator which is an electric actuator with variable mechanical compliance. Using the wheeled MACCEPA the design is very compact as it is fully integrated in the exoskeleton structure. The flexibility in each joint is important for safety regarding the close human-robot interaction. The prototype is manufactured and the network of custom built control hardware is set up. The exoskeleton is undergoing initial testing, evolving to more advanced assistive and compliant control strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSymposium on Robot-Assisted Gait Rehabilitation (ALTACRO)
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2013
EventUnknown -
Duration: 18 Oct 2013 → …


Period18/10/13 → …


  • exoskeleton
  • rehabilitation
  • compliant actuator


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