We propose a novel robotic system for physiotherapy and rehabilitation of the upper limb (arm). It will look to address pathologies from post-stroke neuromuscular deficiencies to cerebral palsy in infants.
Our robot is primarily for home use and for patients suffering with loss of motor control. Worldwide, up to 1 billion people suffer from neurological disorders, many of them disabling. It is estimated that in the UAE alone a person suffers a stroke every hour. We could offer these patients a greater chance to have a life that works around their motor disability.
Existing technologies, such as exoskeletons or haptic manipulator, have the proven advantage of enhanced involvement of the patient and, in many cases, of faster and more effective rehabilitation results. They are, however, expensive, and only available on site at few hospitals or specialised clinical centres. Moreover, they are usually rarely used as they require highly-trained staff to be able to deliver the therapy.
With the RE-ACT robot, the patient would be able to benefit from affordable and effective assistive robotic rehabilitation, not only at hospitals but also at home.
The RE-ACT is designed to be a paradigm shift in robotic rehabilitation. Traditional methods of inducing human motion require large and heavy-duty robots, which usually wrap around the limbs causing constraint motion. Our proposed idea will create a more natural and lightweight motion that will not require the user to wear exoskeletons.
The system is implemented with multiple layers of safety to ensure the safety of the patient and it guarantees ease of use and full autonomy that guides the user through the stages of therapy.
We have ensured that the functioning robot is fully autonomous, so that minimal input from the user is needed, thus the robot guides the user in achieving tasks instead of the user commanding the robot. In addition, the robot has machine learning algorithms that enable it to use past data to adapt to the capabilities of the user and to increase or decrease the difficulties of the tasks.