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Researchers Find Indego® Robotic Exoskeleton is Safe and Effective for Assisting Standing and Walking in Some People with Paralysis

The research findings have been included in the Indego FDA submission for approval of the device for clinical and personal use.

A five-site clinical trial of a robotic exoskeleton shows the device is safe and effective in assisting standing and walking in persons with paraplegia on both indoor and outdoor surfaces.

Shepherd Center, which has been leading the Indego® research since 2010, and four other research partners collected data on 40 study participants with paraplegia who tested the device. Indego is being developed and manufactured by Ohio-based Parker Hannifin Corp. Additional rehabilitation sites who participated in the 40-subject study completed in July 2015 were Craig Hospital (Colorado), Kessler Rehabilitation Institute (New Jersey), Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (Illinois) and Rusk Rehabilitation Institute (New York).

Parker submitted the data in August 2015 to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, requesting approval of the device for personal and clinical use. The submission is under review, and the company expects clearance in the next few months.

“Our Shepherd Center research team is very proud to be working with Indego,” said research project manager Clare Hartigan, PT, MPT. “The options Indego offers our patients in terms of rehabilitation, mobility and personal use are unprecedented.”

While other exoskeletons are being used in rehabilitation settings, there are several features about the Indego device that set it apart, Hartigan notes.

  • At 26 pounds, it is about half the weight of other exoskeleton devices.
  • Indego can be disassembled into five pieces for easier portability.
  • Users find the Indego operation is straightforward and logical.
  • Indego was developed specifically to be appropriate for personal use as a means of both standing and walking in home and community settings.

Shepherd Center’s research with Indego will continue with individuals with tetraplegia (also called quadriplegia), stroke and multiple sclerosis. To complete a research intake form to be considered for Indego studies, visit and click on the Indego Clinical Trials icon.

For more information on Indego, visit

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, traumatic amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. An elite center recognized as both Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top hospitals for rehabilitation. Shepherd Center treats thousands of patients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again.