Intelligent Haptic Robotic System for Upper Limb Rehabilitation After Stroke
Keywords: Haptic, stroke, automated, rehabilitation.
In collaboration with: Quanser
Overview of Research
As many as 75% of those with a stroke live with some residual disability. The loss of upper limb movement control, affecting the completion of daily activities, is common after stroke. It is estimated that 65% of stroke survivors are unable to use their affected upper limb in daily activities such as pushing on a chair to stand up, getting into bed, or dressing themselves.
Stroke survivors work with rehabilitation therapists to improve movement control and function in the affected limb and to increase participation in daily activities. In the early stages of recovery, some stroke survivors have very little control of their affected upper limb and require extensive practice and assistance. Consequently, therapists must spend significant amounts of time guiding stroke survivors through repetitive exercises and functional activities, which can be challenging for both and sometimes impossible given the large caseloads of therapists and the lack of outpatient therapy for some stroke survivors.
The goal of this research is to develop an intelligent haptic robotic rehabilitation system to augment treatment of the upper limb after stroke. This system is also aimed to be low cost and portable so that multiple systems can be available for use in a hospital clinic and so that systems can be usable for home-based therapy.
Through three prototype iterations, using a user-centred design approach, we have developed a system ready for further clinical evaluation. The intelligent haptic robotic rehabilitation system has three research and development focus areas:
- A robotic device that includes a haptic robotic arm that enables 2 degrees of freedom (2DoF) planar assistive or resistive movements,
- An artificial intelligence (AI) controller that automatically adapts exercise parameters according to the stroke survivor’s performance, and
- A virtual environment and graphical user interface (GUI) that provides interactive activities and games to motivate stroke survivors to engage and participate in therapy and that provides performance feedback.
Figure 1 shows the intelligent haptic robotic rehabilitation system set up in a hospital-based clinic.
- Improvement of AI controller to include user performance and a stroke survivor model of fatigue
- Development of a postural monitoring tool to identify and provide feedback on compensatory postures of stroke survivors during exercises
- Improvement of the therapist GUI and performance report generation tools
- Clinical usability evaluation of system with stroke survivors and therapists in a clinic setting
- Example rehab exercise (.wmv format)
- Watch a video describing the haptic robotic device
- Watch a video showing a waypoint exercise with assistance for reaching the target locations
Figure 1. Set up of the intelligent haptic robotic rehabilitation system in a hospital-based clinic (click to enlarge).
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- Communications and Information Technology Ontario (CITO)
- Precarn Incorporated
- NSERC-CIHR Collaborative Health Research Program grant
- Health Care Technology and Place, University of Toronto
Alex Mihailidis, Ph.D., P.Eng. (University of Toronto)
Babak Taati, Ph.D., P.Eng. (Toronto Rehabilitation Institute)
Debbie Hébert, M.Sc. (Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto)
Jesse Hoey, Ph. D. (Computer Science, University of Toronto)