Posts Tagged exoskeletons

[Abstract] The eWrist — A wearable wrist exoskeleton with sEMG-based force control for stroke rehabilitation.

Abstract:

Chronic wrist impairment is frequent following stroke and negatively impacts everyday life. Rehabilitation of the dysfunctional limb is possible but requires extensive training and motivation. Wearable training devices might offer new opportunities for rehabilitation. However, few devices are available to train wrist extension even though this movement is highly relevant for many upper limb activities of daily living. As a proof of concept, we developed the eWrist, a wearable one degree-of-freedom powered exoskeleton which supports wrist extension training. Conceptually one might think of an electric bike which provides mechanical support only when the rider moves the pedals, i.e. it enhances motor activity but does not replace it. Stroke patients may not have the ability to produce overt movements, but they might still be able to produce weak muscle activation that can be measured via surface electromyography (sEMG). By combining force and sEMG-based control in an assist-as-needed support strategy, we aim at providing a training device which enhances activity of the wrist extensor muscles in the context of daily life activities, thereby, driving cortical reorganization and recovery. Preliminary results show that the integration of sEMG signals in the control strategy allow for adjustable assistance with respect to a proxy measurement of corticomotor drive.

Source: The eWrist — A wearable wrist exoskeleton with sEMG-based force control for stroke rehabilitation – IEEE Xplore Document

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[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.

Source: Use of Lower-Limb Robotics to Enhance Practice and Participa… : Pediatric Physical Therapy

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[Abstract] Preliminary study on the design and control of a pneumatically-actuated hand rehabilitation device

Abstract:

In recent years, the robotic devices have been used in hand rehabilitation training practice. The majority of existing robotic devices for rehabilitation belong to the rigid exoskeleton. However, rigid exoskeletons may have some limitations such as heavy weight, un-safety and inconvenience. This paper presents a device designed to help post-stroke patients to stretch their spastic hands. This hand rehabilitation device actuator is fabricated by soft material, powered with fluid pressure, and embedded in one glove surface. The distinguished features of this device are: safety, low cost, light weight, convenience and pneumatic actuation. In clinical practice, rehabilitation therapists should help the post-stroke patients to stretch fingers to a desired joint position. Therefore, the control objective of the proposed hand rehabilitation device is to drive the patient’s finger bending angle to a predesigned position. To this end, curvature sensors embedded in the glove are used to measure the finger’s bending angle. A commercial data glove is used to collect the actual finger’s bending angle for calibrating the curvature sensors based on a three-layer back-propagation (BP) neural network. Then the error between the designed joint position and the actual joint position can be calculated. An error proportional control strategy is adopted for the positioning control objective (the controller’s input is the pump speed). Finally, experiments are conducted to validate the effectiveness of control method and the capacity of the proposed hand rehabilitation device.

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Source: Preliminary study on the design and control of a pneumatically-actuated hand rehabilitation device – IEEE Xplore Document

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[Abstract] Robotic Devices to Enhance Human Movement Performance.

Abstract

Robotic exoskeletons and bionic prostheses have moved from science fiction to science reality in the last decade. These robotic devices for assisting human movement are now technically feasible given recent advancements in robotic actuators, sensors, and computer processors. However, despite the ability to build robotic hardware that is wearable by humans, we still do not have optimal controllers to allow humans to move with coordination and grace in synergy with the robotic devices. We consider the history of robotic exoskeletons and bionic limb prostheses to provide a better assessment of the roadblocks that have been overcome and to gauge the roadblocks that still remain. There is a strong need for kinesiologists to work with engineers to better assess the performance of robotic movement assistance devices. In addition, the identification of new performance metrics that can objectively assess multiple dimensions of human performance with robotic exoskeletons and bionic prostheses would aid in moving the field forward. We discuss potential control approaches for these robotic devices, with a preference for incorporating feedforward neural signals from human users to provide a wider repertoire of discrete and adaptive rhythmic movements.

Source: Robotic Devices to Enhance Human Movement Performance: Kinesiology Review: Vol 6, No 1

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[VIDEO] Robots help stroke victims regain use of arms – Euronews

http://www.euronews.com/embed/305482

Introduced two decades ago for patients with neurological disorders, rehabilitation robotics is now a relatively widespread recovery method for patients.

At the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, robots are used to help stroke victims regain the use of their arms.

Exoskeletons are attached to computer games specially designed to exercise specific sets of upper body muscles. At least 500 repetitions of a movement are needed to make any lasting change.

“It adds variety to the rehabilitation that they’re receiving which adds interest, and patients need to focus on what they’re doing and they need to concentrate again in order to change to affect plasticity,” says Fran Brander, a clinical physiotherapist at the NHNN in London.

“But it’s not the be all and end all. We couldn’t just buy six robots and have no therapists, or nobody to do the hands-on stuff, because the robot won’t lengthen tight muscles, it won’t know which are the specifically weak muscles that need strengthening.”

Before starting the exercise, the patient’s ability to move his or her arm is fed into the computer. If they are unable to move their arm, the robot moves it for them. If they start to move, the robot provides adjustable levels of assistance to help out, helping the brain and arm to learn to work together again.

“You forget what the arm can do when it hasn’t been used for some time. So they teach you new skills and put you on this upper hand clinic (clinical device) to encourage you to be able to use the right arm again,” explains one patient.

While the introduction of such devices doesn’t mean traditional physiotherapy is no longer needed, it can leave the most repetitive exercises to machines, freeing up more time for other, more complex tasks by humans.

Source: Robots help stroke victims regain use of arms | Euronews

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[Abstract] Digital mirror box: An interactive hand-motor BMI rehabilitation tool for stroke patients

Abstract:

We develop a brain-machine interface for the hand-motor rehabilitation of stroke patients. The interface provides both visual and proprioceptive feedback to the user based upon the successful generation of cortical motor commands. We discuss the details of the proposed system and provide a summary of the preliminary experiment. The experiment investigates the importance of simultaneous visual and proprioceptive feedback to the delivery of motor commands from the affected motor cortex of the patients. We also discuss a case study involving a chronic stroke patient who trained with the system for 14 days to recover functional movement in the hand. The results obtained by this study suggest that the developed system is effective at accelerating the recovery of motor function in stroke patients with hand paralysis.

Date of Conference: 13-16 Dec. 2016

Date Added to IEEE Xplore: 19 January 2017

ISBN Information:

Electronic ISBN: 978-9-8814-7682-1

Print on Demand(PoD) ISBN: 978-1-5090-2401-8

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Publisher: IEEE

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Source: Digital mirror box: An interactive hand-motor BMI rehabilitation tool for stroke patients – IEEE Xplore Document

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[Abstract] A novel scheme of finger recovery based on symmetric rehabilitation: Specially for hemiplegia

Abstract:

Finger recovery is much harder than other parts on the upper limbs, because finger recovery movement has several key problems need to overcome, including high precision of movement, high control resolution requirements, variable data with different person, as well as the fuzzy signal during the movement. In order to overcome the difficulties, a new scheme of finger recovery is presented in the paper based on symmetric rehabilitation. In the paralyzed hand side, a mechanical exoskeleton hand is designed and simulated to provide skeletal traction, while in the regular hand side, the curve magnitude of every joint during movement is detected. Then the hand motion is analyzed and recognized using Multi-class SVM. Many candidates were chosen to perform the experiment, and the data produced by the candidates were divided the training parts and recognition parts. Experiments shows that the Multi-class SVM is effective and practical for classification and recognition, and could be helpful in the finger recovery process.

Source: A novel scheme of finger recovery based on symmetric rehabilitation: Specially for hemiplegia – IEEE Xplore Document

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[Abstract] Combining a hybrid robotic system with a bain-machine interface for the rehabilitation of reaching movements: A case study with a stroke patient

Abstract:

Reaching and grasping are two of the most affected functions after stroke. Hybrid rehabilitation systems combining Functional Electrical Stimulation with Robotic devices have been proposed in the literature to improve rehabilitation outcomes. In this work, we present the combined use of a hybrid robotic system with an EEG-based Brain-Machine Interface to detect the user’s movement intentions to trigger the assistance. The platform has been tested in a single session with a stroke patient. The results show how the patient could successfully interact with the BMI and command the assistance of the hybrid system with low latencies. Also, the Feedback Error Learning controller implemented in this system could adjust the required FES intensity to perform the task.

I. Introduction

Stroke is a leading cause of adult disability around the world. A large number of stroke survivors are left with a unilateral arm or leg paralysis. After completing conventional rehabilitation therapy, a significant number of stroke survivors are left with limited reaching and grasping capabilities [1].

Source: Combining a hybrid robotic system with a bain-machine interface for the rehabilitation of reaching movements: A case study with a stroke patient – IEEE Xplore Document

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[Abstract] Design of a thumb module for the FINGER rehabilitation robot

Abstract:

This paper describes the design and initial prototype of a thumb curling exoskeleton for movement therapy. This add-on device for the Finger INdividuating Grasp Exercise Robot (FINGER) guides the thumb through a single-degree-of-freedom naturalistic grasping motion. This motion complements the grasping motions of the index and middle fingers provided by FINGER. The kinematic design and mechanism synthesis described herein utilized 3D motion capture and included the determination of the principle plane of the thumb motion for the simple grasping movement. The results of the design process and the creation of a first prototype indicate that this thumb module for finger allows naturalistic thumb motion that expands the capabilities of the FINGER device.

Source: IEEE Xplore Document – Design of a thumb module for the FINGER rehabilitation robot

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[Overview] A short overview of upper limb rehabilitation devices – Full Text PDF

Abstract.

As some studies show, the number of people over 65 years old increases constantly, leading to the need of solution to provide services regarding patient mobility. Diseases, accidents and neurologic problems affect hundreds of people every day, causing pain and lost of motor functions.

The ability of using the upper limb is indispensable for a human being in everyday activities, making easy tasks like drinking a glass of water a real challenge. We can agree that physiotherapy promotes recovery, but not at an optimal level, due to limited financial and human resources. Hence, the need of robot-assisted rehabilitation emerges.

A robot for upper-limb exercises should have a design that can accurately control interaction forces and progressively adapt assistance to the patients’ abilities and also to record the patient’s motion and evolution. In this paper a short overview of upper limb rehabilitation devices is presented. Our goal is to find the shortcomings of the current developed devices in terms of utility, ease of use and costs, for future development of a mechatronic system for upper limb rehabilitation.

1. Introduction

The upper limb is an important part of the human body, which is very mobile and has a role in gripping different objects, transporting, moving and touching them. This limb has three major joints: shoulder, elbow and wrist. The shoulder is the junction of the trunk with the upper limbs, ensuring high amplitude movements of the arms. The elbow joint has a single degree of freedom and has a role in flexion/extension movement of the forearm on the arm.

The hand is the most complicated segment of the body. The main role of the hand is to grasp and sustain objects combined with an important tactile role. Every year millions of people worldwide suffer from injuries of the upper limb, such as contusions, inflammations or fractures. The most frequent accidents are produced at the extremities level (fingers, hand), followed by those at elbow level. The age that is most prone to fractures is between 20 and 40 years, people being exposed to these traumas due to their activities.Image result for InMotion Wrist

The second period with increased trauma incidence is after 60/70 years old, when the bone strength is low. Children are less prone to trauma due to their bones elasticity [1]. As part of the recovery process a patient is required to execute exercises, which aim to fully recover the joint mobility. The integration of new technologies in rehabilitation therapies led to the development of active and passive devices for upper limb rehabilitation, classified as follows: exoskeletons, haptic interface systems, simple rehabilitation systems. In this paper a short overview of upper limb rehabilitation devices is presented.

Full Text Pdf

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