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Promoting inclusiveness in exoskeleton robotics: Addressing challenges for pediatric access

Fosch-Villaronga, Eduard; Cartolovni, Anto; Pierce, Robin L.


Eduard Fosch-Villaronga

Robin L. Pierce


Pediatric access to exoskeletons lags far behind that of adults. In this article, we promote inclusiveness in exoskeleton robotics by identifying and addressing challenges and barriers to pediatric access to this potentially life-changing technology. We first present available exoskeleton solutions for upper and lower limbs and note the variability in the absence of these. Next, we query the possible reasons for this variability in access, explicitly focusing on children, who constitute a categorically vulnerable population, and also stand to benefit significantly from the use of this technology at this critical point in their physical and emotional growth. We propose the use of a life-based design approach as a way to address some of the design challenges and offer insights toward a resolution regarding market viability and implementation challenges. We conclude that the development of pediatric exoskeletons that allow for and ensure access to health-enhancing technology is a crucial aspect of the responsible provision of health care to all members of society. For children, the stakes are particularly high, given that this technology, when used at a critical phase of a child’s development, not only holds out the possibility of improving the quality of life but also can improve the long-term health prospects.


Fosch-Villaronga, E., Cartolovni, A., & Pierce, R. L. (2020). Promoting inclusiveness in exoskeleton robotics: Addressing challenges for pediatric access. Paladyn journal of behavioural robotics, 11(1), 327-339.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 24, 2020
Online Publication Date Jul 9, 2020
Publication Date 2020-01
Deposit Date Oct 27, 2020
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Paladyn, Journal of Behavioral Robotics
Print ISSN 2081-4836
Electronic ISSN 2081-4836
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 1
Pages 327-339
Keywords Pediatric exoskeletons; Wearable robotics; Life-based design; Children; Health-care system; Access; Personalized medicine; Trust
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Published article (501 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© 2020 Eduard Fosch-Villaronga et al., published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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