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We Need a Change in Rehabilitation Robotics

29 ottobre 2021
2:30 pm
San Francesco Complex - classroom 2

Robots can be very useful to restore movement abilities of upper and lower limbs. First, they can promote neurorehabilitation as training devices after neurological injuries such as spinal cord injury (SCI), traumatic brain injury and stroke. Second, they can be used as assistive devices to support patients or elders with gait impairments in daily life situations. However, current mechatronic solutions are still too bulky and their sensory technologies and control strategies are still too primitive to support the correct motion and motion intention. Furthermore, they still require a lot of effort, labor and/or surveillance by a human therapist. Consequently, the use of the robots is less intensive then it could be, and they are not yet broadly accepted by the patients and medical staff. Therefore, we need to change the function and use of the rehabilitation robots to increase acceptability and, eventually, the therapy outcome and quality of life of the patients who require physiotherapy or occupational therapy. For example, novel devices should provide effective assist-as-needed support and become more convenient and easier to use by both patients and therapists. In this talk I will present new technical features and ideas that may improve the rehabilitation of arm movements and gait.


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Robert Riener - ETH Zürich