Posts Tagged Assistive

[ARTICLE] A systematic review on existing measures for the subjective assessment of rehabilitation and assistive robot devices – Full Text PDF

Yiannis Koumpouros

Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Department of Informatics, Ag. Spyridonos, Aigaleo – 12243, Athens, Greece

email: ykoump@teiath.gr

Abstract:

The objective of the current study is to identify and classify outcome measures currently used for the assessment of rehabilitation or assistive robot devices. Such measures are critical to be used during the development phase of any such product.

We conducted a systematic review of the literature using the PubMed, Medline, CIRRIE and Scopus databases for studies that assessed rehabilitation or assistive robot devices from 1980 through January 2016. In all, 31 articles met all inclusion criteria. Tailor-made questionnaires were the most commonly used tool at 66.7% (22/31), while the great majority 93.9% (29/31) of the studies used nonvalidated instruments.

The study reveals the absence of a standard scale which makes it difficult to compare the results from different researchers. Most of them either use only objective measures (e.g. clinical or technical measurements) or develop not valid questionnaires. There is a great need therefore, for a valid and reliable instrument to be available for use by the intended end users for the subjective assessment of robot devices.

The study concludes by identifying two scales that have been validated in general assistive technology devices and could support the scope of subjective assessment in rehabilitation or assistive robots (with limited however coverage), and a 2 new one called PYTHEIA, recently published. The latter intends to close the gap and help researchers and developers to evaluate, assess and produce products that satisfy the real needs of the end users.

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[Abstract] Characterisation and evaluation of soft elastomeric actuators for hand assistive and rehabilitation applications – Journal of Medical Engineering & Technology

 

Abstract

Various hand exoskeletons have been proposed for the purposes of providing assistance in activities of daily living and rehabilitation exercises. However, traditional exoskeletons are made of rigid components that impede the natural movement of joints and cause discomfort to the user.
This paper evaluated a soft wearable exoskeleton using soft elastomeric actuators. The actuators could generate the desired actuation of the finger joints with a simple design. The actuators were characterised in terms of their radius of curvature and force output during actuation. Additionally, the device was evaluated on five healthy subjects in terms of its assisted finger joint range of motion.
Results demonstrated that the subjects were able to perform the grasping actions with the assistance of the device and the range of motion of individual finger joints varied from subject to subject. This work evaluated the performance of a soft wearable exoskeleton and highlighted the importance of customisability of the device. It demonstrated the possibility of replacing traditional rigid exoskeletons with soft exoskeletons that are more wearable and customisable.

Source: Characterisation and evaluation of soft elastomeric actuators for hand assistive and rehabilitation applications – Journal of Medical Engineering & Technology –

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[ARTICLE] Soft robotic glove for combined assistance and at-home rehabilitation

Abstract

This paper presents a portable, assistive, soft robotic glove designed to augment hand rehabilitation for individuals with functional grasp pathologies. The robotic glove utilizes soft actuators consisting of molded elastomeric chambers with fiber reinforcements that induce specific bending, twisting and extending trajectories under fluid pressurization. These soft actuators were mechanically programmed to match and support the range of motion of individual fingers. They demonstrated the ability to generate significant force when pressurized and exhibited low impedance when un-actuated. To operate the soft robotic glove, a control hardware system was designed and included fluidic pressure sensors in line with the hydraulic actuators and a closed-loop controller to regulate the pressure. Demonstrations with the complete system were performed to evaluate the ability of the soft robotic glove to carry out gross and precise functional grasping. Compared to existing devices, the soft robotic glove has the potential to increase user freedom and independence through its portable waist belt pack and open palm design.

via Soft robotic glove for combined assistance and at-home rehabilitation.

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