Knee is in practice the most often injured joint. There are a wide range of origin of injuries that can lead to needing knee rehabilitation: sport practices, traffic accidents, acquired brain damage, arthritis and other degenerative diseases consequence of aging. It is estimated an incidence of 2,29 knee injuries per 1.000 population, most of them requiring a rehabilitation period. In spite of this high incidence, available robotic rehabilitation devices (static CPM - Continuous Passive Motion – devices; powered KAFO – Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis –; and exoskeletons) are not fully tailored for an effective and cheap rehabilitation of the gait. GOGOA has developed a functional prototype of the BELK system, a wearable robotic device that can be used for knee rehabilitation, in the sub-acute phase of knee injuries. It incorporates “assisted-as-needed” control and Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) features, helping to speed-up and to improve the rehabilitation process. Combination of “assisted-as-needed” attendance and muscular stimulation during the natural gait represent an effective combination of optimized gait assistance techniques not applied by their competitors to date. BELK project aims to cover the gap between the current TRL6 stage of the product and the full commercial deployment of this solution. Main objectives are (i) to improve technically the existing prototype, preparing it for industrialization (ii) to produce industrially a pre-series of BELK devices (iii) to perform clinical trials and achieve the CE certification (iv) to update the preliminary business and exploitation plans, and (v) to prepare the commercialization, disseminating the project results towards potential customers and the society in general.
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