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Micromachines (Basel). 2018 Dec 24;10(1). pii: E8. doi: 10.3390/mi10010008.

Coordinative Motion-Based Bilateral Rehabilitation Training System with Exoskeleton and Haptic Devices for Biomedical Application.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China. zhangsy@hit.edu.cn.
2
Tianjin Key Laboratory for Control Theory & Application in Complicated Systems and Biomedical Robot Laboratory, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Tianjin University of Technology, Binshui Xidao 391, Tianjin 300384, China. fuqiang6369@hotmail.com.
3
Department of Intelligent Mechanical Systems Engineering, Kagawa University, 2217-20 Hayashi-cho, Takamatsu 761-0396, Japan. guo@eng.kagawa-u.ac.jp.
4
State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China. meylfu@hit.edu.cn.

Abstract

According to the neuro-rehabilitation theory, compared with unilateral training, bilateral training is proven to be an effective method for hemiparesis, which affects the most part of stroke patients. In this study, a novel bilateral rehabilitation training system, which incorporates a lightweight exoskeleton device worn on the affected limb; a haptic device (Phantom Premium), which is used for generating a desired tactile feedback for the affected limb; and a VR (virtual reality) graphic interface, has been developed. The use of VR technology during rehabilitation can provide goal directed tasks with rewards and motivate the patient to undertake extended rehabilitation. This paper is mainly focused on elbow joint training, and other independent joints can be trained by easily changing the VR training interface. The haptic device is adopted to enable patients to use their own decision making abilities with a tactical feedback. Integrated with a VR-based graphic interface, the goal-oriented task can help to gradually recovery their motor function with a coordinative motion between two limbs. In particular, the proposed system can accelerate neural plasticity and motor recovery in those patients with little muscle strength by using the exoskeleton device. The exoskeleton device can provide from relatively high joint impedance to near-zero impedance, and can provide a partial assist as the patient requires.

KEYWORDS:

bilateral training; exoskeleton device; robot-assisted; tactile feedback; upper limb; visual feedback

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