Stroke patients usually suffer from the loss of motor functions like walking independently. Chicago PT has developed KineAssist technology which is a rehabilitative robotic system that aids therapists in rehabilitative sessions. The system provides patients recovering from stroke an omnipresent safety net that catches them when they fall. This allows the therapist to improve the quality of the session by providing more realistic training scenarios instead just preventing the patient from falling over.
The system is able to follow the patient allowing the patient to move around freely without feeling any extra weight. The harness is the interface connecting the machine and the patient. This tracking of the patient’s motion is done by force sensors in the harness. This allows for control of the robot which reacts to the patient’s movement and also the ‘catching’ of the patient when he falls over. In this sense the system is more of a reactive agent that only reacts to external stimulus.
Another feature that stands out is that the machine can lift the patient reducing the load on the patient’s legs. This allows for progressive training which could not be achieved by past rehabilitative methods.
Voice control or a wireless remote control could be built into the system to allow the therapist control the robot’s functions without endangering the patient with excess wires.
Further applications for this technology include creating this ‘safety net’ for gym users who train alone or for athletes who challenge themselves with heavier weights.
Feng Junwei Benjamin
U046064ECheck the Chicago Link for more videos Reference: Carolina News Tech Talk Chicago PT KineAssist paper MIT review paper