Posts Tagged rehabilitation robot

[Abstract] A pilot study on the optimal speeds for passive wrist movements by a rehabilitation robot of stroke patients: A functional NIRS study  


The optimal conditions inducing proper brain activation during performance of rehabilitation robots should be examined to enhance the efficiency of robot rehabilitation based on the concept of brain plasticity. In this study, we attempted to investigate differences in cortical activation according to the speeds of passive wrist movements performed by a rehabilitation robot for stroke patients. 9 stroke patients with right hemiparesis participated in this study. Passive movements of the affected wrist were performed by the rehabilitation robot at three different speeds: 0.25 Hz; slow, 0.5Hz; moderate and 0.75 Hz; fast. We used functional near-infrared spectroscopy to measure the brain activity during the passive movements performed by a robot. Group-average activation map and the relative changes in oxy-hemoglobin (ΔOxyHb) in two regions of interest: the primary sensory-motor cortex (SM1); premotor area (PMA) and region of all channels were measured. In the result of group-averaged activation map, the contralateral SM1, PMA and somatosensory association cortex (SAC) showed the greatest significant activation according to the movements at 0.75 Hz, while there is no significantly activated area at 0.5 Hz. Regarding ΔOxyHb, no significant diiference was observed among three speeds regardless of region. In conclusion, the contralateral SM1, PMA and SAC showed the greatest activation by a fast speed (0.75 Hz) rather than slow (0.25 Hz) and moderate (0. 5 Hz) speed. Our results suggest an optimal speed for execution of the wrist rehabilitation robot. Therefore, we believe that our findings might point to several promising applications for future research regarding useful and empirically-based robot rehabilitation therapy.

Source: A pilot study on the optimal speeds for passive wrist movements by a rehabilitation robot of stroke patients: A functional NIRS study – IEEE Xplore Document


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[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.

Supplementary material

11432_2017_9076_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.7 mb)

Robot assisted rehabilitation of the arm after stroke: prototype design and clinical evaluation
11432_2017_9076_MOESM2_ESM.mp4 (96.2 mb)

Supplementary material, approximately 96.2 MB.
11432_2017_9076_MOESM3_ESM.mp4 (43.6 mb)

Supplementary material, approximately 43.6 MB.

Source: Robot assisted rehabilitation of the arm after stroke: prototype design and clinical evaluation | SpringerLink

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[REVIEW] A structured overview of trends and technologies used in dynamic hand orthoses – Full Text


The development of dynamic hand orthoses is a fast-growing field of research and has resulted in many different devices. A large and diverse solution space is formed by the various mechatronic components which are used in these devices. They are the result of making complex design choices within the constraints imposed by the application, the environment and the patient’s individual needs. Several review studies exist that cover the details of specific disciplines which play a part in the developmental cycle. However, a general collection of all endeavors around the world and a structured overview of the solution space which integrates these disciplines is missing. In this study, a total of 165 individual dynamic hand orthoses were collected and their mechatronic components were categorized into a framework with a signal, energy and mechanical domain. Its hierarchical structure allows it to reach out towards the different disciplines while connecting them with common properties. Additionally, available arguments behind design choices were collected and related to the trends in the solution space. As a result, a comprehensive overview of the used mechatronic components in dynamic hand orthoses is presented.


Human hands are complex and versatile instruments. They play an essential role in the interaction between a person and the environment. Many people suffer from hand impairments like spasticity, lack of control or muscle weakness, which may be due to the consequences of stroke, paralysis, injuries or muscular diseases. Such impairments may limit an individual’s independence in performing activities of daily living (ADL) and the ability to socially interact (e.g. non-verbal communication). Devices like hand exoskeletons, rehabilitation robots and assistive devices, here collectively termed as dynamic hand orthoses, aim to overcome these limitations. Their development is a fast-growing field of research and has already resulted in a large variety of devices [1, 2, 3, 4].

Each individual has different demands for a dynamic hand orthoses. Some patients benefit from rehabilitation therapy (e.g. stroke patients [5]) while others would more likely benefit from daily assistance (e.g. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy [6]). The resulting diversity between the different devices can be illustrated by the elaborate overviews on robotic devices [4], training modalities [3] and intention detection systems [7] they use. Clearly, there are many mechatronic components to choose from and are often the result of making particular design choices within the imposed design constraints. However, not everybody has the resources (i.e. time, accessibility) to investigate all possible design choices within these constraints. Moreover, not always are design choices reported in literature and are therefore hard to retrieve. The full potential of learning from each other’s endeavors is therefore not yet fully exploited, leaving several questions in this field of research unanswered. For example, there is the discussion whether pneumatic or electric actuation is better for some applications.

The goal of this study is to collect a high quantity of dynamic hand orthoses and extract the mechatronic components which are used. Their collective properties are analyzed by using a framework which uses a generic categorization applicable for any mechatronic system: a signal domain (e.g. controllers, sensors), energy domain (e.g. energy sources, actuators) and mechanical domain (e.g. cables, linkages). Additionally, feasible technologies from other, but similar, disciplines are included (e.g. prosthetics, haptics). Trends are then visualized using bar charts and compared to available arguments behind design choices. This not only includes arguments from often-cited success-stories, but also from small-scale projects. Referring to the case of using pneumatic or electric actuation, this approach can answer how often each method is used and what arguments are reported, which may help in scoping further research and making a well-considered choice.

This paper is structured in different sections. The “Scope” section describes the boundaries and limitations of this study and Framework introduces the basis of the framework structure that is proposed. The “Results” section describes the quantitative results which illustrate the trends. How this relates to the functionality of the components, is discussed and summarized in the “Discussion” and “Conclusion” section, respectively.

Continue —> A structured overview of trends and technologies used in dynamic hand orthoses | Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation | Full Text

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[ARTICLE] Upper limb rehabilitation robot for physical therapy: design, control, and testing – Full Text PDF


In recent years, the treatment process of patients and disabled people who need rehabilitation and physical medicine has become more effective with the use of new devices and developing technology. The rehabilitation robot is one of the most important developments in new technology. The right therapeutic exercises and the objectivity of the evaluation of the range of motion (ROM; generated torque and muscular activation measurement of the patient) are extremely important factors during treatment.

In this study, a lower limb rehabilitation robot was modified and controlled for upper limbs. The retrofitted robot system is able to do passive, active, and active-assistive therapeutic exercises. On the other hand, it performs active-assistive exercises using muscular activation. A web-based human machine interface, which can support home-care service, was developed to control the robotic system. This interface includes a performance evaluation unit, which is able to use not only ROM and torque, but also muscular activation of patients for the assessment of therapy results. Thanks to this system, assessment and physical therapy can be realized by a single robotic system for both upper and lower limbs using physical parameters such as ROM, generated torque, and muscular activation of the limbs. Satisfactory performance of the system is observed in the tests performed with a healthy subject.

Full Text: PDF

Source: Academic Journals

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[ARTICLE] Recent development of mechanisms and control strategies for robot-assisted lower limb rehabilitation


Robot-assisted rehabilitation and therapy has become more and more frequently used to help the elderly, disabled patients or movement disorders to perform exercise and training. The field of robot-assisted lower limb rehabilitation has rapidly evolved in the last decade. This article presents a review on the most recent progress (from year 2001 to 2014) of mechanisms, training modes and control strategies for lower limb rehabilitation robots. Special attention is paid to the adaptive robot control methods considering hybrid data fusion and patient evaluation in robot-assisted passive and active lower limb rehabilitation. The characteristics and clinical outcomes of different training modes and control algorithms in recent studies are analysed and summarized. Research gaps and future directions are also highlighted in this paper to improve the outcome of robot-assisted rehabilitation.

via Recent development of mechanisms and control strategies for robot-assisted lower limb rehabilitation.

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[VIDEO] Rehab robot helps restore damaged muscles and nerves

Date: March 1, 2015

Source: Reuters – Innovations Video Online / Powered by

Summary: A rehabilitation robot prototype to help restore deteriorated nerves and muscles using electromyography and computer games. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters

via Rehab robot helps restore damaged muscles and nerves — ScienceDaily.

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[ARTICLE] A Novel Hybrid Rehabilitation Robot for Upper and Lower Limbs Rehabilitation Training


Stroke is the leading cause of severe disability worldwide, with up to 15 million of people suffer stroke every year. Survivors of stroke can recover their physical strength, provided they undergo proper rehabilitation. However, most of the rehabilitation centres provide only basic tools as they can rarely afford the expensive and advanced rehabilitation devices. Besides that, training with therapists is limited to few hours per week due to the large number of patients and the stroke patients are generally sent home once they are mobile, although their upper limbs functions are not recovered.

Stroke patients need to continue training after stroke to avoid muscle contraction, but due to large number of patients, they are not able to train frequently in the hospital. Therefore, the goal of this project is to develop a low-cost, simple yet compact rehabilitation robot for stroke patient to train both upper and lower limbs reaching movement. Compact Rehabilitation Robot (CR2) is expected to help the stroke patients training reaching movement in an enhanced virtual reality environment with haptic feedback and to provide the stroke patients with a faster track towards recovery.

via A Novel Hybrid Rehabilitation Robot for Upper and Lower Limbs Rehabilitation Training.

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[Conference Publication] Abstract – Cooperation of electrically stimulated muscle and pneumatic muscle to realize RUPERT bi-directional motion for grasping

Robot-assisted rehabilitation is an active area of research to meet the demand of repetitive therapy in stroke rehabilitation.

Robotic upper-extremity repetitive trainer (RUPERT) with its unidirectional pneumatic muscle actuation (PMA) can be used by most stroke patients that have difficulty moving in one direction because of a weak agonist or hyperactive antagonist.

In this research, to broaden the usage of RUPERT, we not only add grasping functionality to the rehabilitation robot with the help of surface Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) but also realize the robot joint bi-directional motion by using a PMA in cooperation with surface FES evoked paralyzed muscle force.

This integrative rehabilitation strategy is explored for training patients to practice coordinated reaching and grasping functions. The effectiveness of this FES electrically evoked bio-actuator way is verified through a method that separates the mixed electromyogram (MEMG) into the electrically evoked electromyogram (EEMG) and voluntary electromyogram (VEMG).

This is a promising approach to alleviate the size and mechanical complexity of the robot, thereby the cost of the joint bi-directional actuator rehabilitation robot by means of their own characteristics of stroke subjects.

via IEEE Xplore Abstract – Cooperation of electrically stimulated muscle and pneumatic muscle to realize RUPERT bi-directional ….

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[ARTICLE] ReachMAN2: A compact rehabilitation robot to train reaching and manipulation – Full Text


This paper presented the design, control and perfor-mance evaluation of reachMAN2, a compact rehabilitation robot that enables training of hand opening/closing, fore-arm supination/pronation and arm reaching rehabilitation, inisolation or combination. The height of the device can beadjusted easily to suit users with different height, standingor seating. The innovative design of the handle based on adedicated cam mechanism improves its comfort and avoids back and forth movement of the arm while performing handopening/closing functions. 3-D printed components enable consideration of biomechanical parameters of the human hand identified during simple experiments, and to use the device with various hands (e.g. children, adults, impairedhand) to train different hand functions (e.g. grasp, pinch,etc.). A first prototype has been fully tested, characterised redundant safety and control have been implemented. It will be used to carry out trials with impaired subjects…

via ReachMAN2: A compact rehabilitation robot to train reaching and manipulation | Julius Klein –

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[BOOK] Upper Limb Rehabilitation Using a Planar Cable-Driven Parallel Robot with Various Rehabilitation Strategies – Springer


   Robotic technology became an important tool for rehabilitation especially for stroke patients. This paper presents development of three degrees-of-freedom cable-driven parallel robot (CDPR) for upper limb rehabilitation. Main features of the proposed rehabilitation robot are to provide relatively large workspace and to be less dangerous especially in the situation of robot’s malfunction owing to its reduced inertia of a moving part. In addition, the cable-driven rehabilitation robot has many advantages such as transportability, low cost, low actuation power, safeness, large workspace and so on. In this paper, we analyzed the patient’s joint movement during the passive rehabilitation using the developed CDPR. In addition, the paper presents the several types of rehabilitation therapy strategies and their implementation using the proposed CDPR system.

μέσω Upper Limb Rehabilitation Using a Planar Cable-Driven Parallel Robot with Various Rehabilitation Strategies – Springer.

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