Posts Tagged Upper limb rehabilitation

[ARTICLE] Vision-Based Pose Estimation for Robot-Mediated Hand Telerehabilitation – Full Text PDF/HTML


Vision-based Pose Estimation (VPE) represents a non-invasive solution to allow a smooth and natural interaction between a human user and a robotic system, without requiring complex calibration procedures. Moreover, VPE interfaces are gaining momentum as they are highly intuitive, such that they can be used from untrained personnel (e.g., a generic caregiver) even in delicate tasks as rehabilitation exercises.

In this paper, we present a novel master–slave setup for hand telerehabilitation with an intuitive and simple interface for remote control of a wearable hand exoskeleton, named HX. While performing rehabilitative exercises, the master unit evaluates the 3D position of a human operator’s hand joints in real-time using only a RGB-D camera, and commands remotely the slave exoskeleton. Within the slave unit, the exoskeleton replicates hand movements and an external grip sensor records interaction forces, that are fed back to the operator-therapist, allowing a direct real-time assessment of the rehabilitative task.

Experimental data collected with an operator and six volunteers are provided to show the feasibility of the proposed system and its performances. The results demonstrate that, leveraging on our system, the operator was able to directly control volunteers’ hands movements.

1. Introduction

Traditional rehabilitation is performed in a one-to-one fashion, namely one therapist (or sometimes several) working with one patient, leading to high personnel and management costs, especially for demanding patients such as those with brain or post surgery injuries. Due to the high hospitalization costs, all these patients are leaving clinics and returning to their homes sooner than in the past [1], when their rehabilitative program is not yet finished. These patients can greatly benefit from a telerehabilitation equipment, which is able to provide remote assistance and relief without the burden of going to the clinic on a daily basis. On the other hand, therapists can surely benefit from non-invasive systems capable of acquiring information about their movements which are then sent to the patient (or even to many patients), possibly in real-time to allow a direct control; modern vision-based techniques offer interesting sparks in such way. The possibility to provide high quality rehabilitation programs regardless of patients physical location and leveraging on vision is thus certainly attractive.

Continue —> Sensors | Free Full-Text | Vision-Based Pose Estimation for Robot-Mediated Hand Telerehabilitation | HTML

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Figure 2. HX while holding the sensorized object in a pinch (a) and lateral (b) grasping exercise. The DoMs of the HX device are: (1) the flexion/extension of the index MCP; (2) of the index P-DIP (under-actuated); (3) of the thumb MCP and IP (under-actuated) and (4) the CMC opposition. Other Degrees-of-Freedom (DoF), like thumb intra/extra rotation and the index abduction/adduction, are passive [29]. The HX is used to grasp the sensorized object, whose squeezable soft-pads provide force information on the basis of a optoelectronic deformation transduction [34].

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[ARTICLE] Development of a Soft Actuated Upper Extremity Exoskeleton Employing Series Elastic Actuator for Post Stroke Rehabilitation – Full Text PDF

9th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, 2005. ICORR 2005


The integration of robotic devices and conventional physiotherapy is becoming more and more acceptable worldwide. When an exoskeleton is in the conceptual design phase, the actuator selection is one of the most crucial sections.

In this paper a rotary Seies Elastic Actuator(SEA) is introduced, designed and developed for upper limb application used in the rehabilitation exoskeleton. Albeit the SEA had been used in the lower extremity,it is not utilized for the upper limb rehabilitation yet. This paper will design,implement and analyze the advantages of using SEA in the upper limb instead of conventional electric motors and shows the stability of this system when implemented on the proposed exoskeleton.

Actually the designed exoskeleton is performing simultaneous tasks of elbow and shoulder flexion/extension by means of just one electric motor and a SEA mounted on the elbow joint.

Full Text PDF

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This paper presents design and development of real time biosignal-driven illusion system: Augmented Reality based Illusion System (ARIS) for upper limb motor rehabilitation. ARIS is a hospital / home based self- motivated whole arm rehabilitation system that aims to improve and restore the lost upper limb functions due to Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA) or stroke.

Taking the advantage of human brain plasticity nature, the system incorporates with number of technologies to provide fast recovery by re-establishing the neural pathways and synapses that able to control the mobility. These technologies include Augmented Reality (AR) where illusion environment is developed, computer vision technology to track multiple colors in real time, EMG acquisition system to detect the user intention in real time and 3D modelling library to develop Virtual Arm (VA) model where human biomechanics are applied to mimic the movement of real arm. The system operates according to the user intention via surface electromyography (sEMG) threshold level. In the case of real arm cannot reach to the desired position, VA will take over the job of real arm to complete the exercise.

The effectiveness of the developed ARIS has evaluated via questionnaire, graphical and analytical measurements which provided with positive results.


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In this article, we discuss the development of a novel upper limb rehabilitation robot integrated with video games. Our solution is operated via a novel human–computer interface, which stimulates shoulder, elbow movements, and fine finger movements. It is capable to train patients with partially recovered motor control ability. The interface enables therapists to select motivating and engaging motor training exercises represented as video games and specify rehabilitation exercises for patients using a grasping and upper limb interface. The paper presents concept of this novel interface, discusses the implementation issues and demonstrates technical and practical feasibility of our concept through a number of application examples.


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ARTICLE: Current Trends in Robot-Assisted Upper-Limb Stroke Rehabilitation: Promoting Patient Engagement in Therapy – Full Text

…Robotic therapy devices enable unique methods for promoting patient engagement by providing assistance only as needed and by detecting patient movement intent to drive to the device. Use of these methods has demonstrated improvements in functional outcomes, but careful comparisons between methods remain to be done…

via Current Trends in Robot-Assisted Upper-Limb Stroke Rehabilitation: Promoting Patient Engagement in Therapy – Springer.

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ARTICLE: Non-invasive Brain Stimulation in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation – Full Text

…The non-invasive brain stimulation techniques of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) have developed considerably over the last 25 years. Recent studies have used these techniques to enhance motor and cognitive function, modulate psychiatric symptoms, and reduce pain. Here, we briefly present TMS and tDCS techniques, discuss their safety, and provide examples of studies applying these interventions to enhance movement function following stroke. Though further studies are required, investigations so far provide important first steps in the use of non-invasive brain stimulation techniques to aid routine rehabilitation therapy. We discuss future directions for the field in terms of study development, choice of motor task, and target sites for stimulation…

via Non-invasive Brain Stimulation in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation – Springer.

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