Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 50 Number 3, 2013
   Pages 379 — 394

Abstract — Estimating the patient’s contribution during robot-assisted therapy

Marco Guidali, PhD;1* Urs Keller, MSc;1 Verena Klamroth-Marganska, MD;1 Tobias Nef, PhD;2 Robert Riener, PhD1

1Sensory-Motor Systems Laboratory, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; and Spinal Cord Injury Center, University Hospital Balgrist, Zurich, Switzerland; 2Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation, ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

Abstract — Robot-assisted therapy has become increasingly common in neurorehabilitation. Sophisticated controllers have been developed for robots to assist and cooperate with the patient. It is difficult for the patient to judge to what extent the robot contributes to the execution of a movement. Therefore, methods to comprehensively quantify the patient’s contribution and provide feedback are of key importance. We developed a method comprehensively to estimate the patient’s contribution by combining kinematic measures and the motor assistance applied. Inverse dynamic models of the robot and the passive human arm calculate the required torques to move the robot and the arm and build, together with the recorded motor torque, a metric (in percentage) that represents the patient’s contribution to the movement. To evaluate the developed metric, 12 nondisabled subjects and 7 patients with neurological problems simulated instructed movement contributions. The results are compared with a common performance metric. The estimation shows very satisfying results for both groups, even though the arm model used was strongly simplified. Displaying this metric to patients during therapy can potentially motivate them to actively participate in the training.

Key words: cooperative control, dynamics, feedback, modeling, performance metric, rehabilitation, robot-aided therapy, robotics, stroke, upper limb.

View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 50, No. 3
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Guidali M, Keller U, Klamroth-Marganska V, Nef T, Riener R. Estimating the patient’s contribution during robot-assisted therapy. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2013;50(3):379–94.

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Last Reviewed or Updated  Thursday, May 30, 2013 12:15 PM

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