A robot developed at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology will aid the therapy of stroke victims, after successful clinical trials at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
The robot, known as MIT-Manus, was used in a study involving 56 patients. The subject places their lower arm in a brace attached to the robot. A video screen then prompts them to perform an exercise such as `connecting the dots’.
If movement does not occur, the robot determines how much assistance is required, and moves the affected arm for the patient.
Some 700,000 US citizens suffer strokes each year and 500,000 of them require post-stroke therapy for language, memory or movement impairment. MIT is developing robots for leg, wrist and hand therapy.
The robot can measure the forces and movements of the patient to judge progress. Scientists are comparing the progress of robot-aided patients with human-trained patients to see which method is more effective in helping the brain to relearn limb coordination.
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