Robotic systems and neuroprostheses after spinal cord injury

EPFL – The Center for Neuroprosthetics and Brain Mind Insitute is developing robotic systems and neuroprostheses to improve the recovery of locomotion after spinal cord injury. These technologies operate in real-time through closed-loop control policies, and are thus contingent on a biofeedback signal to configure their operations. For this purpose, they have been using the VICON system, which allowed the research group to detect the ongoing movements of the legs and evaluate the locomotor performance with short latencies. They implemented these closed-loop control systems in both rats and humans with the same reliability. For example, the group showed that real-time control of the location and timing of electrical spinal cord stimulation restored locomotion in paralyzed rats. A clinical study using the same principles is ongoing at the university hospital in Lausanne.

Equipment Used


Tracker has been designed for the requirements and workflow of Engineering users wanting to track the position and orientation of objects with as little effort and as low latency as possible. Perfect for many applications in robotics, UAV tracking, VR and human-machine interaction, Tracker lets you define what you want to track with a couple of mouse clicks – and then you can just leave in the background tracking. A simple SDK lets you connect the output data stream to your own software.

Vicon Vantage Kamera

Vantage is Vicon’s flagship range of cameras. The sensors have resolutions of 5, 8 and 16 megapixels, with sample rates up to 2000Hz – this allows you to capture fast movements with very high accuracy. The cameras also have built-in temperature and bump sensors, as well as a clear display, to warn you if cameras have moved physically or due to thermal expansion. High-powered LEDs and sunlight filters mean that the Vantage is also the best choice for outdoor use and large volumes.

myon aktos EMG

The EMG sensors are small, light-weight and have on-board storage to allow measurements in the field. Easy to attach and easy to charge, the long battery life, the high signal-to-noise ratio and the wireless range are other features that make the aktos the best EMG system on the market today.

Neuroprosthetic system in real-time

The group conceived a neuroprosthetic system that is capable of controling the movement of paralyzed legs in real-time with a remarkable accuracy. These results open perspectives to improve the recovery of locomotion in people with spinal cord injury.


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