Project Key Data

Full title of the project:
Enhancing the capabilities of the ABLE Exoskeleton to promote users’ motivation and faster learning

Short name of the project:

Date of the award:
August 2022

Project duration:
9 months

Lead Company:

Project Partner(s):

Sint Maartenskliniek (Netherlands)


With population ageing, neurological diseases have increased dramatically in recent years. In the hospital, the goal of rehabilitation is successful reintegration into community, with the recovery of walking as a key objective. This is achieved with progressive, repetitive, high-intensity training based on the principles of motor learning and neuroplasticity. Literature has shown that motivation and engagement are essential factors to an adequate rehabilitation.
Robotic rehabilitation has proven to be more efficient and effective than conventional therapy to do so, but given the high number of repetitions involved it’s not always easy to keep patients motivated. Additionally, current rehabilitation robots are very heavy (>20 kg) and costly (>100 k€), limiting broad adoption and leaving the need for efficient rehabilitation unsolved.
ABLE Human Motion has created the ABLE Exoskeleton, an innovative bilateral lower-limb exoskeleton for individuals with spinal cord injury that offers unheard characteristics in terms of weight (12 kg), usability and price (40 k€). The technology is currently at TRL 7, with clinical trials completed successfully in leading hospitals of Germany and Spain.
With the EngageABLE project, we aim to enhance the capabilities of the ABLE Exoskeleton, by developing new gamification and biofeedback features to promote patient motivation and faster learning curve, key aspects for motor learning and neuroplasticity. Firstly, we will develop a gamification software to increase the motivation and engagement of users during gait training. Secondly, we will develop a haptic interface to provide information related to body posture and gait performance metrics using vibration feedback. These novel functionalities are expected to boost technology acceptance and adherence, keeping patients motivated to reach their goals and maximizing the neurorehabilitation process. The project will validate these new functionalities in a pilot clinical study with 5 patients at the Sint Maartenskliniek hospital.