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Motion Control Resources

Graessner Helping Paralyzed Patients Walk Again


For a long time, paraplegia has inevitably meant life in a wheelchair. Stairs present an insurmountable obstacle; objects above waist-height remain out of reach. The ReWalk System changes everything.

ReWalk is a battery-powered system featuring a light, wearable exoskeleton with motors at the hip and knee joints. The ReWalker controls movement using subtle changes in the user's center of gravity. A forward tilt of the upper body is sensed by the system, which initiates the first step. Repeated body shifting generates a sequence of steps which mimics a functional natural gait of the legs. ReWalk offers not only the possibility of independence but a whole new lease of life!

Graessner supplies the drive motors in the joints along with motion sensors controlled by a computer. Each ReWalk frame requires four sets of Graessner bevel gears - two on the hips and two on the knees. One of the most important factors for ReWalk seeking out Graessner bevel gears was the low noise which helps ensure smooth running of the system and enhances the user experience.

Extensive testing in the USA successfully resulted in FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) clearance. Thus, allowing the ReWalk to be available for paraplegic patients in their own homes.

U.S. Marine Capt. Derek Herrera, 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, is awarded the Bronze Star and the Navy Commendation Medal aboard MCB Camp Pendleton, CA, on November 21, 2014. Capt. Derek Herrera was paralyzed on June 14, 2012, while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. As part of his recovery, Capt. Herrera was able to walk again with the help of ReWalk.

The road to independence measures exactly 42,195 meters. The full extent of the ReWalk’s potential was shown in May 2012 when a paraplegic woman used it to successfully complete the London marathon. It took 16 days, but she crossed the finish line on her own two feet.

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