Ekso Bionic Eksoskeleton

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Ekso Bionic Eksoskeleton


Gaylord Specialty Healthcare is the only facility in Connecticut to have the Ekso bionic exoskeleton. Ekso is a portable, adjustable bionic exoskeleton designed to help patients with lower-extremity paralysis or weakness resulting from a spinal cord injury (SCI) or other neurologic condition, including stroke and multiple sclerosis, to stand up and walk.

The main goal of Ekso therapy is to improve your overall physical and emotional health. Ekso is not appropriate for all patients with lower-extremity paralysis or weakness but we will carefully evaluate your situation to see if you might be a candidate for therapy with Ekso. 

  • Ekso is a ready-to-wear, battery-powered bionic suit – or exoskeleton – that is strapped over the your clothing. The device transfers its 50 lb. load directly to the ground, so you don't bear the weight.
  • As the patient, you provide the balance and proper body positioning, and Ekso helps you walk by providing the power to alternately put one foot in front of the other in what is called a reciprocal gait.
  • New Variable Assist software allow us to use the Ekso for a broader range of medical conditions including stroke and multiple sclerosis.
  • Who can use the Ekso? Individuals with spinal cord injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis or other types of lower body weakness or paralysis may be eligible for treatment with the Ekso.

Learn about Walking with Ekso - Interactive Microsite

How the Ekso Bionic Exoskeleton Works - Infographic


As you provide the balance and proper body positioning, your physical therapist uses the control pad to program the desired walking parameters. This includes step length and speed, as well as controlling when the Ekso stands, sits, and takes a step. The Ekso suit is powered by two high-capacity lithium batteries which drive the hip and knee motors. Variable Assist software has just been added to the Ekso. Variable Assist works by allowing individuals with any amount of lower extremity strength to contribute their own power -- from either leg -- to achieve walking over ground. Based on the therapeutic goals, therapists now have the option to assign a specific amount of power contribution to augment their patients’ efforts, or to allow the Ekso suit to dynamically adjust to their needs in real-time. This adds to the suit’s versatility in assisting individuals with hemiparesis due to stroke, incomplete spinal cord injury, or other neurological injuries or conditions to walk.

Who is it used for?

Ekso is for patients with lower-extremity paralysis or weakness who would like assistance to stand up and walk. You need arm function and adequate upper extremity strength to manage crutches or a walker as determined during the evaluation. If you can transfer independently from a wheelchair to a chair, are between 5’2” – 6’2” (150-190 cm) tall and weigh 220 lbs (100 kg) or less, you are most likely a candidate.

Patient Stories

Jillian Harpin

Jillian was on vacation in Mexico when she fell from a balcony. She was paralyzed from the waist down and came to Gaylord for rehabilitation where she started walking with the Ekso bionic exoskeleton. Jillian recently completed the Gaylord Gauntlet 5K & Obstacle Run with a team from the Gaylord Sports Association



Mike was injured in a bike accident four years ago when he was hit by a car. In this video, Mike shares his story and what it is like to stand and walk using the Ekso bionic exoskeleton. Gaylord is the only facility in Connecticut to have the exoskeleton.



How is the physical therapist involved?

The physical therapist  (PT) operates the Ekso with a remote control. This allows the PT to teach you when to take a step, how to position your body for proper balance, and how to shift your weight in preparation to take another step. The PT also has the ability to modify Ekso’s walking pattern (i.e. step speed and length) as you progress.

How can I be evaluated?

Ekso is only available in Connecticut at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare at our Wallingford campus. To be eligible for Ekso you need to bring a medical release. Then, a comprehensive physical evaluation is done, which typically takes one hour. During this evaluation, a physical therapist examines key requirements for use including range of motion, muscle strength and spasticity. For more information call the Exoskeleton Line: (203) 284-2835.

We now also offer the ReWalk exoskeleton which is a wearable exoskeleton that can be used at home. Gaylord offers a ReWalk evaluation and, if appropriate, the opportunity to try the ReWalk during a Clinic Day held at Gaylord.


Exoskeleton Line: (203) 284-2835

Email: publicrelations@gaylord.org

Learn about Walking with EKSO Microsite