Novel Clinical-Driven Robotic Device for Sensorimotor Training

Prototype of haptic hand rehabilitation device for sensorimotor training after stroke

Every year, millions of stroke survivors lose their functional autonomy due to upper-limb impairments. To recover upper-limb functions such as reaching and grasping, stroke patients should undergo a highly intense, repetitive and long training. This kind of training could potentially be provided by robotic devices. However, current robotic solutions are often cumbersome to setup and too complicated to be used in clinical practice. In addition, they mostly focus on the execution of movements and neglect the training of sensory functions, such as the sense of touch, even though research emphasizes its importance for recovery.

Therefore, we are developing a novel upper-limb rehabilitation robot that is easy to use, and that is capable of fine haptic rendering. Haptic rendering is the physical simulation of interaction forces with virtual tangible objects. It can be used to make patients feel if they touch and interact with objects in rehabilitation computer games. Our novel device will thus allow for simultaneous sensory and motor training and has the potential to improve the recovery of upper-limb functions.

Interested in the Project? Contact: Raphael Rätz