Stroke survivors who experience severe hemipare-sis often cannot completely recover the use of their hand and arm. Many of the rehabilitation devices currently available are designed to increase the functional recovery right after the stroke when, in some cases, biological restoring and plastic reorganization of the central nervous system can take place. However, this is not always the case. Even after extensive therapeutic interventions, the probability of regaining functional use of the impaired hand is low. In this respect, we present a novel robotic system composed of a supernumerary robotic finger and a wearable cutaneous finger interface. The supernumerary finger is used to help grasping objects while the wearable interface provides information about the forces exerted by the robotic finger on the object being held. We carried out two experiments, enrolling 16 healthy subjects and 2 chronic stroke patients. Results showed that using the supernumerary finger greatly improved the grasping capabilities of the subjects. Moreover, providing cutaneous feedback significantly improved the performance of the considered task and was preferred by all subjects.
Source: A soft robotic supernumerary finger and a wearable cutaneous finger interface to compensate the missing grasping capabilities in chronic stroke patients – IEEE Xplore Document
Stroke is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Consequently, many stroke survivors exhibit difficulties undergoing voluntary movement in their affected upper limb, compromising their functional performance and level of independence. To minimize the negative impact of stroke disabilities, exercises are recognized as a key element in post-stroke rehabilitation.
In order to provide the practice of exercises in a uniform and controlled manner as well as increasing the efficiency of therapists’ interventions, robotic training has been found, and continues to prove itself, as an innovative intervention for post-stroke rehabilitation. However, the complexity as well as the limited degrees of freedom and workspace of currently commercially available robots can limit their use in clinical settings. Up to now, user-friendly robots covering a sufficiently large workspace for training of the upper limb in its full range of motion are lacking.
This paper presents the design and implementation of ERA, an upper-limb 3-DOF force-controlled exerciser robot, which presents a workspace covering the entire range of motion of the upper limb. The ERA robot provides 3D reaching movements in a haptic virtual environment. A description of the hardware and software components of the ERA robot is also presented along with a demonstration of its capabilities in one of the three operational modes that were developed.
Source: IEEE Xplore Document – Exerciser for rehabilitation of the Arm (ERA): Development and unique features of a 3D end-effector robot
21-23 Oct. 2015
In the last two decades, robot-aided rehabilitation has become widespread, particularly for upper limb movement rehabilitation. In this Doctoral Consortium I present a system for physical and cognitive rehabilitation that uses a combination of Serious Games to allow the monitoring and progress tracking of a person during physical therapy. The system records physical and cognitive states through the interaction with the advance robotic arm in order to assess the users hand-eye coordination, response interaction, working memory and concentration rates.
Source: IEEE Xplore Abstract (Abstract) – Robot-Assisted Rehabilitation for Smart Assessment and Training
Studies of stroke patients undergoing robot-assisted rehabilitation have revealed various kinematic parameters describing movement quality of the upper limb. However, due to the different level of stroke impairment and different assessment criteria and interventions, the evaluation of the effectiveness of rehabilitation program is undermined.This paper presents a systematic review of kinematic assessments of movement quality of the upper limb and identifies the suitable parameters describing impairments in stroke patients. A total of 41 different clinical and pilot studies on different phases of stroke recovery utilizing kinematic parameters are evaluated. Kinematic parameters describing movement accuracy are mostly reported for chronic patients with statistically significant outcomes and correlate strongly with clinical assessments. Meanwhile, parameters describing feed-forward sensorimotor control are the most frequently reported in studies on sub-acute patients with significant outcomes albeit without correlation to any clinical assessments. However, lack of measures in coordinated movement and proximal component of upper limb enunciate the difficulties
to distinguish the exploitation of joint redundancies exhibited by stroke patients in completing the movement. A further study on overall measures of coordinated movement is recommended.
Full Text —> Assessment of movement quality in robot- assisted upper limb rehabilitation after stroke