ROBO-K II is finished, long life to ROBO-K II!

Launched in September 2012, the ROBO-K collaborative project to design a mobile walking rehabilitation robot was completed on January 12th.

An innovative and exciting robotic project

A closing meeting was held on January 12th at the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department of the Rennes University Hospital withall the partners, funders and competitiveness clusters involved in the project.

Robo-K is the first autonomous ambulatory device for walking rehabilitation, integrating many technical innovations to offer the patient an ecological rehabilitation, closest as it could be to the natural walk, without restrictions or technical assistance.

A demonstration of the robot allowed the partners to understand and visualize how the device operates in a therapeutic environment.


This meeting was also, and above all, an opportunity to draw up a balance sheet and give the results of an exciting project, both from a human and technical point of view. During three and a half years, ROBO-K has federated 6 partners around the same objective: to learn how to make patients walk again using advanced techniques stemmed from robotics.


Social Acceptability of the Mobile Robot

ROBO-K project was also innovative in its approach and the importance given to the questions of use and acceptability. These notions were the guiding principles of the project, organized around the idea that a technical object, in order to achieve its therapeutic purpose, has to be part of a process involving different types of people (physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, patients) within the organization of the care of a particular institution.

As part of the pilot study aimed at assessing the social acceptability of the use of the device, two demonstrators joined the University Hospital in Rennes and the CMRRF in Kerpape in September 2015.

Some very encouraging results

The results of the study are very encouraging both in terms of the device’s acceptability and its clinical effectiveness. On a sample of 36 patients, the majority of indicators measuring the walking performance improved significantly. For example, the FAC (Functional Ambulation Classifications), a functional walking test that measures ambulation capacity, increases by 40% on average.

The results of other tests confirm the promising clinical efficiency of the robot:

  Before using Robo-K After 4 weeks of Robo-K use
10 MWT (10 meter walk test) 54 seconds 38 seconds
TUG (Time up & Go) 47 seconds 32 seconds
6MWD (6-min walk distance) 103 meters 164 meters

And after?

This meeting was also the opportunity to announce the new ROBO-K II project launching. A 18-month collaborative project funded by the Brittany region, bringing together BA HEALTHCARE and M2S (Biomechanics Laboratory of Rennes 2 University), ROBO-K II will allow the addition of the biofeedback functionality that could not have been developed during the first project and develop a new mobile device closer to market expectations, including a future industrialization perspective. The ROBO-K II project is to begin in February.

At the same time, as part of a FHU (Federative University Hospital research project), the Rennes University Hospital will continue to use the ROBO-K demonstrator to conduct an efficacy study among 74 additional patients and consolidate those first very encouraging results.