Testing collaboration between RYSEN ® and the ABLE Exoskeleton ®

Testing collaboration between RYSEN ® and the ABLE Exoskeleton ® allows for unparalleled gait training experience with no fear for safety.

A collaborative testing session at the European Centre of Neurosciences (CEN, Madrid, Spain) allowed clinicians and engineers to come together to try a combination of two leading innovations in rehabilitation technology: the RYSEN ® and the ABLE Exoskeleton ® . By using the systems together, it was possible to completely focus on delivering a safe and functional training, while restoring natural gait in people with spinal cord injury.

The RYSEN system provides bodyweight support to users and immediately detects when they lose balance, therefore preventing the risk of any fall. By eliminating the fear of falling, patients learn to use and trust the exoskeleton much more quickly. Which ultimately allows them to reproduce gait for longer time during therapy sessions. Additionally, unlike training with an exoskeleton alone, with this all-directional bodyweight support system there is no need to use a walking aid such as crutches. This hands-free experience empowers users to train balance and focus on achieving a natural posture and optimal patterns while walking, while reducing the load from the upper limbs. Together, the systems provide clinical benefits that could not be achieved with one device alone.

The highlight of the testing was watching a tetraplegic user (C5 complete spinal cord injury) successfully restore walking movement overground. Which was only made possible by the safety and security of the RYSEN and the assistance of the ABLE Exoskeleton. Berta Dominguez Hurtado suffered a spinal cord injury four years ago due to a swimming accident. Since then she has been non-stop fighting and training hard to recover her independence and improve her quality of life. After the accident she became a medical doctor. And recently has started walking thanks to devices like Lokomat, RYSEN and ABLE Exoskeleton. Her personal story is an example of motivation, determination, and overcoming extreme challenges, pushing the boundaries of neurorehabilitation.

Berta Dominguez Hurtado, a user with a C5 complete injury, walking again with the
assistance of the ABLE Exoskeleton and RYSEN.

Collaborators from ABLE Human Motion and the European Centre of

About the Technology

The RYSEN system enables the facilitation of advanced therapy with 3D bodyweight support for overground training. The RYSEN consists of a harness connected to four motorized pulleys attached to the ceiling via a rail system. Part of the advanced state-of-the-art system is the support of patients’ weight without affecting their natural gait. A patient can choose to step to any side, turn around, climb stairs or even walk backwards. The RYSEN supports in an “assistance-as-needed” capacity, meaning a therapist can quickly change the given support at any time depending on how much a patient can support his or her own weight. It is also very safe to use and can reduce fear of falling, as it registers when a patient starts to lose balance and subsequently takes preventive action.

The ABLE Exoskeleton is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that actively assists paraplegic individuals to stand up, walk and sit down. The device consists of a brace that attaches to the legs and torso. Actuators mimic human natural movement, flexing and extending the leg when the intention to take a step is detected using sensors and smart algorithms. The device is accompanied by a cloud-based mobile app to enhance the rehabilitation experience, enabling more personalized therapy with real-time adjustments and quantifiable metrics. The ABLE Exoskeleton is lightweight, affordable, and easy to use, and aims to provide clinicians with a tool to increase the efficiency of rehabilitation, and users with a solution that boosts daily ambulation while empowering them in the community. The exoskeleton is currently under clinical investigation in leading neurorehabilitation institutions: Institut Guttmann (Badalona, Spain), Heidelberg University Hospital (Heidelberg, Germany), and Hospital Asepeyo (Sant Cugat, Spain).

About the Collaborators

RYSEN is developed by Motek Medical. With over 20 years of pioneering the advancement of rehabilitation technology, Motek products and technologies can be found in the most forward-thinking research facilities, top hospitals, and stand-out clinics, changing lives for the better daily. Motek HQ is located in Amsterdam, where they develop, manufacture and produce their state-of-the-art hard- and software technologies. Motek, along with other market leaders such as Hocoma and Fysioroadmap, is part of the DIH family of companies advancing medical technologies around the world. The ABLE Exoskeleton is developed by ABLE Human Motion, a medical device start-up based in Barcelona that was born with a clear mission: enabling mobility, for everyone. They design, develop and will commercialize exoskeleton technology to empower every person in a wheelchair by providing greater mobility and independence. ABLE is committed to bring high quality and top performance technological solutions that improve the efficiency of rehabilitation and promote patient’s reintegration into the community. They have strong partnerships in place with EIT Health, Toyota Motor Europe and leading neurorehabilitation institutions, and are positioned among the most promising medical device start-ups in Europe, winning the Best European Robotics Startup Award in 2020 and the Toyota Startup Awards “Mobility for All” competition.

The European Centre of Neurosciences (CEN) is a leading rehabilitation centre with an exceptional focus on providing patients with the latest technologies and integrated therapies. They are located in Madrid, Spain. Via their extensive experience as professional therapists, they have seen how patients who have suffered damage to the central nervous system (stroke, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson´s, spinal cord injuries, etc.) require full, integrative and intensive care in order to achieve optimal results for their recovery and an overall improvement to their quality of life. And this is what their multidisciplinary and cohesive team is providing in a daily basis, while using the latest available technology.

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