Andros Robotics is developing a robotic device for use at hospitals and clinics for administering gait training therapy to stroke patients and other neurological patients.
The technology behind our first product, the Robotic Leg Advancement Device (R-LAD) was developed at Northeastern University in Boston. This semi-autonomous robot is equipped with an advanced control algorithm to synchronize its actions to the actions of the user (patient), to seamlessly assist the patient with their leg motion during therapy.
Stroke is the number one cause of disability in the U.S., with almost 800,000 cases every year. Some stroke victims recover quickly while about 350,000 of the victims have the potential for significant recovery of motor function and cognitive abilities such that they may return to being productive members of the society.
The ability to walk is very highly correlated with well-being because it allows individuals/patients to be active members of their communities. For this reason, gait training is a major goal during the sub-acute phase of stroke rehabilitation. Gait training is challenging not just for the patients themselves, but also for the physical therapists (PTs) that administer it. A common method gait rehabilitation with highly impaired patients is to use an overhead crane to suspend the patient over a treadmill, and to manually drive one leg of the patient through the proper motion. Typically two or three PTs are required to perform this type of therapy, with one stabilizing the torso/waist and the other providing manual facilitation of leg motion. For this reason, manual gait training is expensive and not optimised towards patients receiving the best therapy.
Robotic solutions do currently exist, however, they are expensive or ill-suited. We believe that the R-LAD could be the game-changer in robotic rehabilitation of gait, due to its semi-autonomous operation and innovative design.