Passive exoskeletons for assisting limb movement

J Rehabil Res Dev. 2006 Aug-Sep;43(5):583-90. doi: 10.1682/jrrd.2005.04.0070.


This article presents the state of the art in passive devices for enhancing limb movement in people with neuromuscular disabilities. Both upper- and lower-limb projects and devices are described. Special emphasis is placed on a passive functional upper-limb orthosis called the Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton (WREX). The development and testing of the WREX with children with limited arm strength are described. The exoskeleton has two links and 4 degrees of freedom. It uses linear elastic elements that balance the effects of gravity in three dimensions. The experiences of five children with arthrogryposis who used the WREX are described.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Arthrogryposis / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Equipment Design
  • Extremities*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Orthotic Devices*
  • Robotics*