Haptic Robotic Platform for Upper Limb Reaching Stroke Therapy: Preliminary Design and Evaluation ResultsBy Lam, Paul; Hebert, Debbie; Boger, Jennifer; Lacheray, Herve; Gardner, Don; Apkarian, Jacob; Mihailidis, Alex; Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, Vol. 5, No. 15
Publication Date: 2008
Paper presents a haptic-enabled exercise platform intended to assist therapists and moderate-level stroke survivors perform upper limb reaching motion therapy. The work extends on existing knowledge by presenting (1) an anthropometrically inspired design maximizing elbow and shoulder range of motions, (2) an unobtrusive upper body postural sensing system, and (3) a vibratory elbow stimulation device to encourage muscle development. A multidisciplinary team of professionals was involved in identifying the rehabilitation needs of stroke survivors incorporating these into a prototype device. The system consists of a (a) visual display, (b) end-effector with wrist sensor, (c) power amplifier, (d) terminal board, (e) computer, (f) haptic-robotic system, and (g) trunk sensors placed on chair back. Eight experienced occupational and physical therapists participated in a pilot study exploring the usability of the prototype during 2 one-hour sessions. Feedback about the device was obtained via a questionnaire and combined with quantitative data. Seven of the 9 questions regarding the system scored higher than 3.0 out of 4.0. The postural sensors detected 97 percent of therapist-simulated abnormal postures and correctly ignored 94 percent of normal postures. The elbow stimulation device had a neutral score of lower than 2.5 for all aspects that were surveyed; however, the therapists felt the rehabilitation system was sufficient for use without the elbow stimulator. All 8 therapists felt the exercise platform could be a good tool to use in upper limb rehabilitation, being generally well designed and capable of delivering reaching task therapy.
Published by: BioMed Central Ltd (Website:http://www.biomedcentral.com)
Link to text: http://www.jneuroengrehab.com/content/5/1/15