2021/12/27 | Research | Robotics

Tailoring Robotic Hand Rehabilitation

Somatosensory information plays a key role in the recovery of stroke patients. The Motor Learning and Neurorehabilitation lab is working on a palmar device for robotic hand rehabilitation that allows for a large range of motion. The team aimed for a clinical-driven design and easy setup to maximize clinical applicability and effectiveness.

Movement sequence from full finger extension to 180° flexion. (https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbot.2021.748196)

There are currently few easy-to-use robotic solutions for sensorimotor hand rehabilitation. The developed robotic hand rehabilitation device is capable of fine haptic rendering to provide rich sensory input during training. It (1) supports physiological full flexion/extension of the fingers, (2) through the full range of motion, (3) for diverse hand sizes using solely exchangeable handles. Clinical requirements were raised with 33 professionals working in neurorehabilitation. Seven healthy participants with different hand sizes tested a functional prototype by performing specific hand movements to measure its haptic rendering capabilities. The novel device has the potential to enhance sensorimotor hand rehabilitation for brain-injured patients with various levels of hand impairments.