Skip directly to content

Mobile exoskeleton eases physical therapy

NSF Award:

STTR Phase II: In-Home Rehabilitation System for Post Stroke Patients  (Ekso Bionics, Inc.)

STTR Phase I: In-Home Rehabilitation System for Post Stroke Patients  (Berkeley ExoWorks)

Congressional Districts:
Research Areas:

Current therapy options for patients with impaired mobility due to spinal cord injury, stroke and multiple sclerosis are quite limited. However, nearly 2 million people in the U.S. experience limited mobility due to these conditions. To assist patients and their physical therapists, researchers at NSF-supported Ekso Bionics have developed a mobile exoskeleton that allows patients with limited mobility to stand and walk in rehabilitation settings.

The exoskeleton technology provides an alternative to traditional therapeutic devices. These devices are often physically challenging for therapists to operate and due to the equipment's large and bulky nature, may not be available in rehabilitation settings limited by space constraints.

Space-efficient mobile exoskeletons have the potential to significantly increase the availability and duration of upright gait therapy, while reducing the physical burden on therapists. These improvements in the standard of care have the potential to result in significant reductions in medical costs experienced by these patients and the overall health care system, as well as enabling many patients to walk again in a physical therapy setting.


  • an exoskeleton system enables a paraplegic patient to stand unassisted
A patient stands unassisted using the exoskeleton system.
Ekso Bionics Inc.

Recent Award Highlights

learning how microbes synthesize tetracycline may allow researchers to discover new antibiotics

Overcoming antibiotic resistance

Taking a cue from nature, researchers manipulate enzymes to create new antibiotics

Research Areas: Engineering Locations: California
diagram shows wireless health care infrastructure

Disposable sensors for wireless health care

Mobile monitoring patches powered by micro-batteries and advanced radio technologies

Research Areas: Engineering Locations: California