Post-stroke Rehabilitation System providing individualised Adaptability and Assessment


The use of robotic devices for providing physiotherapy is a relatively new field within the area of robotics in health care and emerged from the idea of using robots to assist people with disabilities. It is rapidly advancing based on the recent developments in robotics, haptic interfaces and virtual reality. The idea of using robots to assist a therapist with a rehabilitation exercise has led to the development of several rehabilitation robotic devices. Considering the robot as an advanced tool under the therapist's supervision, the key challenge in the area of rehabilitation robotics is how best the therapist's skills can be enhanced with robot technology.

The work to be carried out in this research is based on the Gentle/S rehabilitation system. Gentle/S utilised haptic and virtual reality technologies to deliver challenging and meaningful therapies to upper limb impaired stroke subjects. The clinical trial results with Gentle/S system and other systematic reviews highlighted the need for robotic therapy to be highly 'adaptable' according to the specific needs and performance of the patient. Research also highlights the opportunity for using robotic technology to quantitatively 'assess' the underlying recovery process. The current research, termed as Gentle/A (A for adaptability), is therefore aiming towards designing a better therapeutic human adaptive interface with an improved assessment capability. Motivating visual interfaces combined with an adaptive sense of touch can bring the user very close to reality, while making the exercise more fun. Hence ‘Haptics + Virtual Reality’ is gaining wide spread acceptance among user and research communities.

2012 © Adaptive Systems Research Group

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