A new robot under development in Europe promises to improve stroke rehabilitation immensely. Called the CORBYS, this robot comes equipped with motors that can assist the patient with leg movements.
The robot also has sensors that can gauge the strength and dexterity that is remaining in the patient's limbs. Other sensors present in this robot include heart rate monitor, EEG, body thermometer and a muscle activity sensor. Researchers in six countries have worked on development of this robot, which can transmit data that can help the therapist control its movements.
"The walking robot has several settings, and the therapist selects the correct mode based on how far the patient has come in his or her rehabilitation", said ICT researcher Anders Liverud at SINTEF, which is one of the CORBYS project partners. "The first step is to attach sensors to the patient's body and let them walk on a treadmill. A therapist manually corrects the walking pattern and, with the help of the sensors, create a model of the patient's walking pattern."
He added that based on the input from other physiological and system sensors the robotic system registers whether the patient wants to stop, change speed or turn, and can adapt immediately.