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Automating activity-based interventions: The role of robotics

Joseph Hidler, PhD, et al.

Figure. Lokomat (Hocoma AG; Volketswil, Switzerland) robotic gait orthosis.

We have seen a continued growth of robotic devices being tested in neurorehabilitation settings over the last decade. The main goal of this testing has been to improve upper- and lower-motor function in individuals with stroke, spinal cord injury, and other neurological conditions. Interestingly, few studies have investigated the use of these devices to improve the overall health and wellbeing of these individuals, despite their capability to deliver intensive time-unlimited therapy. In this article, we discuss using robotic devices to deliver intense, activitybased therapies that may significantly benefit exercise. We also present preliminary studies that investigate the metabolic and cardiac responses both during and 6 months after robotic training. Finally, we speculate on the future of robotics and how these devices will affect rehabilitation interventions.

Volume 45 Number 2, 2008
   Pages 337 — 344

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