Rehabilitation robots that are used to assist patients should be able to move naturally and cause no discomfort to the patients. In this study, a self-aided manipulator system that can generate natural motion and assist bed-ridden patients has been developed. The self-aided manipulator is designed so that it can grasp a glass of water from a side table for the patient. The system can detect the starting position (position of the glass) and the target position (position of the patient's lips) by using a video camera. The direction angle of the patient's face is also determined, and approach motions are generated on the basis of these angles. Approach motions are generated by changing the peak velocity time, maximum speed, and detour point position of the manipulator, and the psychological influence on the patient is evaluated on the basis of their heart rate variability (HRV), skin potential response (SPR), and response to questionnaires. The results suggested that a peak velocity time of 75% of the total movement time, a maximum speed of 36 cm/s, and an approach path from the right when the patient's head is facing straight or to the left tended to have the strongest psychological influence on the patient. From these results, it was indicated that the following conditions are preferable for the approach motion of the manipulator: a peak velocity time of approximately 25 to 50% of the total movement time, a maximum speed from 18 to 24 cm/s, and an approach path in the direction in which the head faces.
"The rehabilitation process for SCI comprises several steps, including: 1) basic training for extending the range of motion of joints and muscle strengthening; 2) training to maintain a seated posture; 3) training in standing up and sitting down; 4) training to relearn the primary walking pattern; and 5) training in practical walking. Over the last decade, a variety of rehabilitation robots and robotic assist devices for physical therapy have been developed -. In particular, BCI (brain computer interface technology), neuro-rehabilitation techniques, wearable robot technologies, and neuro-rehabilitation robotics have been actively studied . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently, attention has been focused on incomplete-type spinal cord injury to the central spine caused by pressure on parts of the white matter conducting pathway such as the pyramidal tract. In this paper, we focus on a training robot designed to assist with primary walking pattern training. The target patient of this training robot is one who is relearning the basic functions of the usual walking pattern, especially for patients with the incomplete type SCI to the central spine, who are capable of standing by themselves but are not capable of performing walking motions. From the perspective of human engineering, we monitored the operator’s actions to the robot and investigated the movement of joints of the lower extremities, the circumference of the lower extremities and the exercise intensity with the machine. The concept of the device is to provide mild training without any sudden changes in heart rate or blood pressure, which will be particularly useful for the elderly and disabled.
Replace, Repair, Restore, Relieve – Bridging Clinical and Engineering Solutions in Neurorehabilitation, 01/2014: pages 149-157;
"Over the last decade, a variety of rehabilitation robots and physically assisting robots have been developed -. Especially applying the BCI (brain computer interface technology), neuro-rehabilitation techniques and wearable robot technologies, neuro-rehabilitation robotics has been recently studied actively . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have been developing a series of robots to apply for each step of spinal cord injury (SCI) recovery. We describe the preliminary walking pattern assisting robot and the practical walking assisting robot, which will be applied to the incomplete type of SCI to Quadriplegia. The preliminary experimental results are performed by normal subjects to verify the basic functions of the robot assisting and to prepare the test by SCI patients.
"Joysticks and headjoysticks have been developed for smooth wheelchair locomotion (Rofer et al., 2009), as well as controls detecting the user's breaths. Furthermore, a switch system to control a self-aided manipulator system has been developed for bedridden patients (Hanafusa et al., 2009). However, because of the severe limitation of the present patient's motor abilities, it was not feasible to apply any of these devices directly to a stretcher. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diseases such as ALS and SMA often cause motor disabilities by progressive loss of muscle power. However, some patients must lie horizontally and thus cannot operate a wheelchair. The aim of this study was to develop a robotic stretcher for an SMA patient with severe motor disabilities to enable her to maneuver independently inside a building. In the concept of the stretcher, the user can drive the stretcher using an applicable operating device while watching a display feed from cameras mounted on the stretcher. We have developed some new devices with operating algorithm, mechanical frame and control system suitable to the users limited abilities (motion in only one finger), and verified their functions by tests with prototype machine. In addition, we show some results of a risk assessment of the prototype machine.
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