Archive for category Robotics
[Abstract+References] Robot assisted rehabilitation of the arm after stroke: prototype design and clinical evaluation
Robot assisted rehabilitation training is a promising tool for post-stroke patients’ recovery, and some new challenges are imposed on robot design, control, and clinical evaluation. This paper presents a novel upper limb rehabilitation robot that can provide safe and compliant force feedbacks to the patient for the benefits of its stiff and low-inertia parallel structure, highly backdrivable capstan-cable transmission, and impedance control method in the workspace. The “assist-as-needed” (AAN) clinical training principle is implemented through the “virtual tunnel” force field design, the “assistance threshold” strategy, as well as the virtual environment training games, and preliminary clinical results show its effectiveness for motor relearning for both acute and chronic stroke patients, especially for coordinated movements of shoulder and elbow.
[Abstract+References] A Low-Cost and Lightweight Alternative to Rehabilitation Robots: Omnidirectional Interactive Mobile Robot for Arm Rehabilitation
Robotic rehabilitation is a growing field. Robots facilitate repetitive therapies, which have positive effects on the rehabilitation of patients who lack arm control because of central nervous system lesions. However, the use of such rehabilitation robots is rare due to high costs and low acceptance among patients. Therefore, this study is focused on the development and control of a novel low-cost omnidirectional interactive mobile robotic platform with force feedback to assist and guide a patient’s hand during therapy. The primary goals for such a mobile robot are to minimize its weight and dimensions, which are significant factors in patient acceptance. Position-based stiffness control was employed with a proportional derivative controller to control the position of the robot and to assist the patient during motion. A user interface with given tasks was built to manage tasks, obtain test results and set control variables. Test results showed that the developed experimental mobile robot successfully assisted and guided the user during the test period.
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23.Web reference. http://www.humanbenchmark.com/tests/reactiontime/statistics
Using smart algorithms to help the brain develop a new way of walking after a stroke. Incredible advances in rehab technologies!
[Abstract] Use of Lower-Limb Robotics to Enhance Practice and Participation in Individuals With Neurological Conditions
Purpose: To review lower-limb technology currently available for people with neurological disorders, such as spinal cord injury, stroke, or other conditions. We focus on 3 emerging technologies: treadmill-based training devices, exoskeletons, and other wearable robots.
Summary of Key Points: Efficacy for these devices remains unclear, although preliminary data indicate that specific patient populations may benefit from robotic training used with more traditional physical therapy. Potential benefits include improved lower-limb function and a more typical gait trajectory.
Statement of Conclusions: Use of these devices is limited by insufficient data, cost, and in some cases size of the machine. However, robotic technology is likely to become more prevalent as these machines are enhanced and able to produce targeted physical rehabilitation.
Recommendations for Clinical Practice: Therapists should be aware of these technologies as they continue to advance but understand the limitations and challenges posed with therapeutic/mobility robots.
In the United States, there are approximately 17,000 new cases of spinal cord injury (SCI) every year. Of these, 20 percent result in complete paraplegia (paralysis of the legs and lower half of body) and over 13 percent result in tetraplegia (paralysis of all four limbs).
But SCI is not the only reason that people experience this type of disability. Stroke, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and a range of other neurological disorders can all lead to paralysis. In fact, a recent survey estimated that in the U.S., almost 5.4 million people live with paralysis, with stroke being the leading cause of this disability.
Now, researchers from the National Centre of Competence in Research Robotics at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), and at the Lausanne University Hospital in Switzerland, have come up with a groundbreaking technology that may help these patients to regain their locomotor skills.
The scientists came up with an algorithm that helps a robotic harness to facilitate the movements of the patients, thus enabling them to move naturally.
The new research has been published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, and the first author of the study is Jean-Baptiste Mignardot.
Helping people to walk again
Current rehabilitation technologies for people with motor disabilities as a result of SCI or stroke involve walking on a treadmill, with the upper torso being supported by an apparatus. But existing technologies are either too rigid or do not allow the patients to move naturally in all directions.
As the authors of the new study explain, the challenge of locomotor rehabilitation resides in helping the nervous system to “relearn” the right movements. This is difficult due to the loss of muscle mass in the patients, as well as to the neurological wiring that has “forgotten” correct posture.
In order to overcome these obstacles and promote natural walking, Mignardot and colleagues designed an algorithm that coordinates with a robotic rehabilitation harness. The team tested the algorithm in more than 30 patients. The “smart walk assist” markedly and immediately improved the patients’ locomotor abilities.
This mobile harness, which is attached to the ceiling, enables patients to walk. This video shows how it works:
Additionally, after only 1 hour of training with the harness and algorithm, the “unsupported walking ability” of five of the patients improved considerably. By contrast, 1 hour on a conventional treadmill did not improve gait.
The researchers developed the so-called gravity-assist algorithm after carefully monitoring the movements of the patients and considering parameters such as “leg movement, length of stride, and muscle activity.”
As the authors explain, based on these measurements, the algorithm identifies the forces that must be applied to the upper half of the body in order to allow for natural walking.
The smart walk assist is an innovative body-weight support system because it manages to resist the force of gravity and push the patient back and forth, to the left and to the right, or in more of these directions at once, which recreates a natural gait and movement that the patients need in their day to day lives.
Grégoire Courtine, a neuroscientist at EPFL and the Lausanne University Hospital, comments on the significance of the findings, saying, “I expect that this platform will play a critical role in the rehabilitation of walking for people with neurological disorders.”
“This is a smart, discreet, and efficient assistance that will aid rehabilitation of many persons with neurological disorders.”
Prof. Jocelyne Bloch, Department of Neurosurgery, Lausanne University Hospital
Reha Technology USA Inc announces it now offers FDA-approved integrated Functional Electronic Stimulation (FES) for its G-EO System Evolution robotic gait trainer.
“The FES in conjunction with the G-EO System will allow clinicians to generate contractions in paralyzed or weakened muscles in lower extremities at the appropriate time in the walking cycle to maximize patient outcomes,” says Matthew Brooks, clinical director of Reha Technology USA Inc, in a media release.
The G-EO System robotic gait trainer provides passive and active, assistive and resistive training and the simulation of stairs walking up and down.
“We look forward to add this integrated FES feature to all of our current and future customers and we are confident that this extended offering will create added value for their therapy environment,” adds executive VP Paul Abrams, in the release.
[Source(s): Reha Technology USA Inc, PR Newswire]
The PABLO is the latest in a long row of clinically tried and tested robotic- and computer-assisted therapy devices for arms and hands. The new design and the specially developed tyroS software make the PABLO more flexible and offer an expanded spectrum of therapy options.
[Abstract] Preliminary study on the design and control of a pneumatically-actuated hand rehabilitation device
2. Design and Simulation
The prototype robotic finger has three sliders, five links, ten bolts, and one motor. As the motor rotates, the blue crank moves the gray coupler forwards or backwards. The gray coupler pushes and pulls the yellow slider arm, making it move along the slot. When the yellow slider moves, this causes the green link, or N-shaped linkage, to rotate, which in turn causes the yellow and outer red sliders to move together. The N-shaped linkage continues to push and pull the outer red slider, causing it to move along the slot. The outer red slider connects to the human finger and causes it to bend.[…]
[ARTICLE] Robotic-assisted serious game for motor and cognitive post-stroke rehabilitation – Full Text PDF
Stroke is a major cause of long-term disability that can cause motor and cognitive impairments. New technologies such as robotic devices and serious games are increasingly being developed to improve post-stroke rehabilitation. The aim of the present project was to develop a ROBiGAME serious game to simultaneously improve motor and cognitive deficits (in particular hemiparesis and hemineglect). In this context, the difficulty level of the game was adapted to each patient’s performance, and this individualized adaptation was addressed as the main challenge of the game development. The game was implemented on the REAplan end-effector rehabilitation robot, which was used in continuous interaction with the game. A preliminary feasibility study of a target pointing game was run in order to validate the game features and parameters. Results showed that the game was perceived as enjoyable, and that patients reported a desire to play the game again. Most of the targets included in the game design were realistic, and they were well perceived by the patients. Results also suggested that the cognitive help strategy could include one visual prompting cue, possibly combined with an auditory cue. It was observed that the motor assistance provided by the robot was well adapted for each patient’s impairments, but the study results led to a suggestion that the triggering conditions should be reviewed. Patients and therapists reported the desire to receive more feedback on the patient’s performances. Nevertheless, more patients and therapists are needed to play the game in order to give further and more comprehensive feedback that will allow for improvements of the serious game. Future steps also include the validation of the motivation assessment module that is currently under development.