National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Faculty of Engineering has invented a novel robotic walker that helps patients carry out therapy sessions to regain their leg movements and natural gait
Survivors of stroke or other neurological conditions such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and Parkinson’s disease often struggle with mobility. To regain their motor functions, these patients are required to undergo physical therapy sessions. A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Faculty of Engineering has invented a novel robotic walker that helps patients carry out therapy sessions to regain their leg movements and natural gait. The system also increases productivity of physiotherapists and improves the quality of rehabilitation sessions.
Designed by a team of researchers led by Assistant Professor Yu Haoyong from the NUS Department of Biomedical Engineering, the robotic walker is capable of supporting a patient’s weight while providing the right amount of force at the pelvis of the patient to help the patient walk with a natural gait. In addition, quantitative data can be collected during the therapy sessions so that doctors and physiotherapists can monitor the progress of the patient’s rehabilitation.
Improving therapy outcomes with robotic aid
The robotic walker comprises six modules: an omni-directional mobile platform; an active body weight support unit; a pelvic and trunk motion support unit; a suite of body sensors; a functional electrical stimulation unit; and an intuitive user control interface.
The suite of body sensors measure the gait of the patient so that the walker can provide the right amount of support to help the patient walk with a natural gait. The electrical stimulation unit can deliver targeted electrical current to stimulate the correct muscle at the correct timing to facilitate joint movement. The walker can also provide assistive force, resistive force, and disturbance force depending on the training requirements set by the therapists. In this way, patients can go through different training schemes that are often difficult to achieve manually. The patient interacts with the walker through a force sensor which detects the user intent. The intelligent control system uses this information as well as the gait information provided by the body sensors to control the movement of the walker. Another unique feature of this walker is that it allows the patient to practice gait movements by walking over ground instead of on a treadmill. Such features enable the gait training to be conducted in a natural and intuitive way for the patients.
Asst Prof Yu explained, “This robotic walker allows patients to practice their gait movements continuously to optimise their therapy. When patients repeat the movements in a natural setting, the routine can be imprinted into their brains which gradually learn to correct from the damage resulting from their medical conditions.”
In addition, the robotic walker is capable of collecting data on the gait kinematics and muscle activation pattern of the patient. Such information is useful for doctors and therapists to monitor the progress of the patients’ recovery.
A robotic helper for physiotherapists
Besides improving the quality of rehabilitation sessions, the robotic walker will also relieve physiotherapists from the physical strain of assisting patients with the exercises.
Currently, gait training requires one or two physiotherapists to support the patient’s body weight and trunk, and an additional physiotherapist may be needed to move the paretic leg. Such therapy sessions are labour intensive, and they are also ergonomically unfavourable for the physiotherapists as they often suffer from back injuries. This limits the quality, duration and frequency of rehabilitation sessions.
With the robotic walker, manual therapy can be taken over by the robotic system, while physiotherapists can focus on providing better assessment and training guidance for patients. The device also reduces the number of physiotherapists needed to conduct each rehabilitation session, thereby increasing productivity and reducing the cost of care.
The Latest on: Robotic walker
via Google News
The Latest on: Robotic walker
- Texas Middle School takes first, second place in roboticson January 26, 2020 at 7:54 pm
(Submitted photo) Earning First Place was the team of Truth Dukes, Lauren Friday, Diana Hernandez and Ryan Kate Walker. The second place team was Adam McCarter, Ean Sharp, Daniel Song and Brett Sparks ...
- Mississippi Museum of Natural Science reveals new STEM exhibit “The Robot Zoo”on January 25, 2020 at 5:10 pm
“A robot chameleon, platypus, and house fly ... The exhibit is sponsored locally by MDWFP, Mississippi Museum of Natural Science Foundation, Field Co-Operative Association, Sanderson Farms, Walker ...
- You’re going to see the robot umpires sooner than you thinkon January 22, 2020 at 11:05 am
Here, though, I want to focus on the “robot umpire system,” which, as you know ... MLB Bullets gets the call Derek Jeter and Larry Walker were elected to the Hall of Fame. The Braves sign a new ...
- Cruise unveils next-generation, self-driving robot taxion January 21, 2020 at 7:34 pm
The floors displayed quotes touting robot cars’ superiority: “Cruise will never get distracted or text” and “Cruise will never get tired behind the wheel,” for instance. “Actions speak louder than ...
- Democracy Now | Moms 4 Housing in Oakland continue MLK’s fighton January 18, 2020 at 4:00 am
Early Tuesday morning, a day before the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth, a small army of police, sheriff’s deputies and a tactical SWAT team with a military robot laid siege to a house ...
- Local robotics competition ‘ignites the spark’ for Panhandle studentson January 16, 2020 at 10:27 am
“You spent your whole year building this robot,” he said. “It would be really fun to win ... the tournament director. For Walker Rivard from Surfside Middle School, that strengthening doesn’t happen ...
- James Hill: Running for Walker County Board of Commissioners, District 1on January 16, 2020 at 7:15 am
who teaches other doctors how to use the robot, and have been cancer-free since. But an experience like that really sharpens your perspective on life, and family becomes more important than ever.” ...
- Meet Friendly Robot ‘Walker’ Who Can Talk, Paint & Do Yogaon January 16, 2020 at 4:18 am
Meet Walker – the friendly robot – he can talk to you, do yoga, paint, bring you snacks and even open beverage bottles! Walker has been developed by a Chinese company Robosen Robotics, and was ...
- Robot Court Reporters?, Impeachment Trial Nears, Inside Astros Cheating Scandal: The Morning Minuteon January 16, 2020 at 3:09 am
EXPANDING - San Francisco-based law firm Sideman & Bancroft has created a European affiliate and opened an office in Paris, in its first international move. Rose Walker reports that the new entity, ...
- Robotic technology helps patients learn to walk again at Pikeville Medical Centeron January 15, 2020 at 8:07 am
Then, he went to crutches," Tipton recalled. "Just seeing that little kid be able to go to school on crutches and not on a walker, that's just rewarding in itself." Lokomat is only one technologically ...
via Bing News