Robotic-assisted Locomotion: Hope and pitfalls

Topic 4 - Team C

  • Juan Bejarano Rios
  • Cindy Carolina Marquez
  • Deepak Reddy Narra
  • Sukumar Reddy Kattameedi



Passive locomotion system


  • Hip bones
  • Sacrum
  • Coccyx
  • Femur
  • Tibia
  • Fibula
  • Tarsus
  • Metatarsus
  • Digits



Structural joint types
  • Fibrous joint
  • Cartilagionus joint
  • Synovial joint
Functional joint types
  • Synathrosis
  • Amphiarthrosis
  • Diarthrosis

Active locomotion system


Muscles involved in locomotion
Skeletal muscle tissue
Muscle contraction


Vertebral column

A series of 27 different shape, size bones are connected to form a vertebral column and its other name is known as backbone. These 27 bones are further divided into 33 vertebrae, why there is a difference between the bones and vertebrae in number because 5 vertebrae are fused together and acts as a single bone called sacrum, 4 vertebrae fused each other forms coccyx. The shape of a vertebral column in newly born babies is in the shape “c” and it changes gradually, while growing up.

classification of vertebral column

  • Cervical vertebrae
  • Thoracic vertebrae
  • Lumbar vertebrae
  • Sacrum
  • Coccyx

Nervous System

The Nervous system is a part of human body which senses the environment inside or outside and generate responses using network of millions of Neurons.The nervous system is classified into Central Nervous system(CNS) operates brain and spinal cord and Peripheral Nervous system(PNS) deals with the neurons and nerves. Print This Nervous is responsible for the every action in the human body.The brain and spinal is protected by the skull and vertebrae bones but the neurons and nerves are in the muscle tissues,under the skin and at the many parts of the body.The Peripheral nervous system is stretched to limbs,organs and glands for the simulation of responses unlike the brain and spinal cord.

Nervous system cells

The Nervous systems contains small fundamental mental cells namely Neurons and Glia which are responsible for the functioning of the brain and Peripheral nervous system.

  • Neurons

Neurons are basic units of the brain and Peripheral nervous system responsible for the communication between the brain and organs.There are about 100 millions in human body.The Neuron mainly consists of three parts axons,dendrites and cell body or soma.Dendrites are like branches of a tree which are connected with the dendrites of other neurons and receive signals from them.Axons are like the roots of a tree which send output to other neurons.Cell body consists of nucleus which hold the DNA and proteins used for the transfer of the responses.


Functions of neurons:

  • Neurons are carriers of chemical signals to target organs from brain or vice versa.
  • These are responsible for the working of sense organs in receiving the data from the environment and responding accordingly.
  • These cause movement in the muscles according to the electrical signals received from the brain.
  • Glial cells

Glial cells or simply glia are the part of nervous system cells and act as support to the neurons and found abundant in the spinal cord and brain.These cells ensure a strong connection in the transmission of data from one neuron to other.Glial cells consists of oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, ependymal cells, Schwann cells, microglia, and satellite cells.These cells exist in Central nervous system and peripheral nervous system.The count of Glia are nearly equal to the neurons in the human brain.


Glial cells in CNS

Glial cells in the central nervous system involves astrocytes, microglial cells, ependymal cells, and oligodendrocytes.

  • Astrocytes are star shaped glial cells which provide external support to the neurons.The form a strong bond between the muscle tissues,blood vessels.These cells are responsible for the maintenance of chemical composition in the neurons and removing the excess unwanted molecules which cause damage to the muscle tissues.They control the levels of neurotransmitter around synapses the concentrations of potassium, and providing metabolic support.
  • Microglial cells are the smallest of all other cells which are evolved from the white blood cells.These cells act as immune system of the brain by detecting the damaged cells and toxic agents and by removing them.These are responsible for the development of the brain by protecting it and contribute to synaptic pruning process by eating up the synapses which are unnecessary.
  • Ependymal cells are columnar epithelial lining of spinal cord and ventricles of brain which contains pumps.The primary duty of these cells is to filter the blood to make cerebrospinal fluid (CSF),which is circulated in the central nervous system.
  • Oligodendrocytes are the glial cells which supports the axons of the long neurons in the central nervous system.These provide insulation by producing a fatty substance called myelin, which is wrapped around axons as a layer.These cells act as insulation layer around power cables.The myelin sheath allows electrical messages to travel faster.

Glial cells in PNS

Glial cells in peripheral nervous are Schwann cells and satellite cells.


  • Schwann cells insulate the axons with myelin in the peripheral nervous system.Schwann cell surrounds just one axon segment where as oligodendrocytes which surround multiple axons.These cells are responsible for the conduction impulses along axons, nerve development and regeneration, trophic support for neurons, production of the nerve extracellular matrix, modulation of neuromuscular synaptic activity, and presentation of antigens to T-lymphocytes.
  • Satellite cells are found in sensory,sympathetic and parasympathetic glial cells and surrounded by the cell bodies of neurons.These provide support in regulating the chemical composure.

Motor neurons

Motor neurons are located in the spinal cord as a part of central nervous system act as a control for the movement of muscle tissues.These neurons are extended to all parts of the body such as muscles in the stomach,glands,organs and responsible for the motory action of tissues by transmitting the impulse signals from the spinal cord.Motor neurons are multipolar and are connected to one axon and several dendrites.Motor neurons are classified into two types one from the spinal cord to the muscles called lower motor neurons and the other those travel from brain to spinal cord called as upper motor neurons.


  • Upper motor neurons are located in the cerebral cortex and make glutamatergic connections with lower motor neurons located in the central nervous system.These are less sensitive to the superficial reflex stimulation and spasticity.
  • Lower motor neurons are located in the nuclei and ventral horn of the spinal cord.These connections from extended to axons outside of the CNS.These are cholinergic and receive inputs from upper motor neurons,sensory neurons and interneurons and convey the impulses to the target muscle tissues.
  • Somatic motor neurons are located in the Rexed lamina IX in the brain stem and in the spinal cord and also found in skeletal muscles responsible for movements.These support in establishing of neuromuscular connectivity and a coordinate maturation between motor neurons and its targeted tissues.


A nerve is a primary unit in the peripheral nervous system which consists of several cables of neurons and axons extended to every part of the body and responsible for every electrochemical nerve impulse action.Each nerve contains many fibers surrounded by a layer of connective tissue called the endoneurium and axons are bundled together called fascicles.Each fascicle is bundled in a layer of connective tissue called the perineurium.

Functions of nerves

  • The primary function of nerves is to convey the electrochemical impulses which are known as nerve impulses or action potentials.
  • These nerves transfer the impulses in extremely fast at rate of 120 m/s.
  • The impulses from one neuron to another is carried by the message is converted from electrical to chemical and then back to electrical.

The nerves are classified into two groups based on the functionality such as sensory nerves and motor nerves.

  • * Sensory nerves
  • * Motor nerves

Spinal cord

  • Upper limb control
  • Lower limb control

Pathological locomotion


Traditional treatments

Drug based treatment



Robotic-assisted locomotion

Current technologies



Possible future works


  1. B. Chen, B. Zi, L. Qin, and Q. Pan, “State-of-the-art research in robotic hip exoskeletons: A general review,” Journal of Orthopaedic Translation, vol. 20, pp. 4–13, Jan. 2020, doi: 10.1016/
  2. M. Tariq, P. M. Trivailo, and M. Simic, “EEG-Based BCI Control Schemes for Lower-Limb Assistive-Robots,” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, vol. 12, Aug. 2018, doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2018.00312.
  3. H. E. Yang et al., “Structural and functional improvements due to robot-assisted gait training in the stroke-injured brain,” Neuroscience Letters, vol. 637, pp. 114–119, Jan. 2017, doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2016.11.039.
  4. Rice University. (2016). Anatomy & Physiology. Victoria, BC: BC campus. Retrieved from:
aes20/locomotion.txt · Last modified: 2020/05/25 18:08 by cmarquez
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