The ambulatory suspension system outlined in this paper is presented as a method and apparatus that would assist patients during gait rehabilitation and used as a safety support for patients during exercise. The apparatus is designed to be adjustable, support the weight of the user, does not impede walking and prevents sudden fall. The paper outlines the development and implementation of a 3-axis motorized support system that provides support in a full range of motion; allowing ambulatory impaired patients to safely rehabilitate themselves under the supervision of a physical therapist. The patient requiring gait rehabilitation would be free to traverse a flat plane and climb a number of stairs. This newly designed apparatus can lift a patient from a sitting position in a wheel chair to a standing position and gives the therapist freedom to manually assist the patient in placing their feet and controlling the weight shift. As the patient begins to gain a feel for proper coordinated movement, the amount of weight borne by the patient is gradually increased to better simulate natural walking conditions. This paper details the concept, methodology, prototype, test results and performance optimization of a 3-axis automated motorized suspension system for gait rehabilitation.

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