robotic device has been developed by experts at Florida Atlantic University.
This robot may prove useful in rehabilitating patients suffering from Parkinson's
disease and stroke.
inventors of the cable driven robot say that they have designed and built the
device to aid physical therapists and their patients to retain injured muscles.
robotic device has been made from moving parts like motors, cables and spools,
enclosed within an acrylic case with a handle (joystick) that is indirectly
connected to the system through magnetic attraction.
Masory, a professor of Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering and
Computer Science who developed the cable driven robot with engineering graduate
student student Melissa Morris, claims that it is the first-known cable driven
robot to utilize a barrier between the operator and the moving mechanisms of
of the device say that the system does not contain any rigid parts that could
suddenly harm or injure the user, and that the device can be used in a physical
therapy office or at home without supervision.
button has been embedded in the handle of the device. When it is released
during operation, a signal is sent to the controller that the patient has lost
contact with the handle, and the system immediately shuts down.
can operate in various modes which help it guide patients through a series of
enables the patient to begin his/her training by following a pre-programmed
path which corresponds to "repetitions" done in traditional physical therapy,
while another mode assists the patient as he/she attempts to follow the path,
and the robot corrects them if they move outside of the path in much the same
way a therapist would do by providing gentle resistance.
also offers varying resistance at all points within the platform to simulate
contact with objects and increase muscle strength.
operates in an additional mode that offers a significant advantage over
traditional physical therapy by providing absolutely no resistance to the
patient, allowing movement anywhere within the platform for the purpose of
can also help physical therapists in modifying the program to create new paths
or change the level of resistance.
has been programmed to track the patient's progress and records data such as
position and speed, which can later be analysed by the physical therapist so as
to make necessary adjustments in the treatment in accordance with the patient's
physical therapists have no way of collecting empirical data that can measure
the path, force or progress of any patient. This device can help alleviate that
problem," said Morris.
"Because this device is much lower in cost and
less intimidating than existing systems, therapists will be able to track and
manage the progress of multiple patients remotely with fewer office visits. The
reduction in costs will enable patients to receive longer sessions of therapy
which are still covered by insurance," said Masory.