Rehabilitation Robotics

Development and Control of a 3DOF MRI-Compatible Haptic Device

Through the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in conjunction with a haptic device, it is possible to study changes in brain activity while a patient undergoes rehabilitation-like protocols. By measuring changes in brain activity of a patient undergoing neurorehabilitation during fMRI, optimal patient-specific therapy regimens might be obtained. This research aims to develop, characterize, and control a parallel three degrees of freedom magnetic resonance (MR) compatible haptic device, called the MR-SoftWrist, which can measure and support wrist movements during fMRI.

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Active

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Minimal Assist-as-Needed (mAAN) Controller for Robotic Rehabilitation

Providing minimal assistance to neurologically impaired individuals only becomes possible when the subject's functional capability is known.  In this research we introduce a minimal assist-as-needed (mAAN) controller which utilizes sensorless force estimation to determine subject inputs as a function of time, before providing a corresponding assistance with adjustable ultimate bounds on position error.

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Active

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Robot Assisted Rehabilitation - Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

The objective of this research effort is to develop a rehabilitation robot and associated controllers to be used in both therapy and evaluation of subjects with incomplete spinal-cord injuries. We are working in collaboration with Dr. Gerard Francisco and Dr. Nuray Yozbatiran of TIRR-Memorial Hermann and UTHealth.

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Active

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Robotic assisted rehabilitation-Stroke

Robotic systems provide numerous opportunities to improve the effectiveness of rehabilitation protocols and to lower therapy expenses for stroke patients. Because treatment intensity has a significant effect on motor recovery after stroke, the use of robotics has potential to automate labor-intensive therapy procedures. Additional potential advantages of robotics include bringing therapy to new venues including the home, new sensing capabilities for monitoring progress, and increased therapy efficiency with the possibility of group therapy.

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Inactive

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Origins of Intermittency in Slow Movements

It has been reported in the literature that the smoothness of human subjects' arm/hand movements vanishes as the movements become slower. Intermittencies in the movement are observed as distinct peaks in the speed profile. Doeringer and Hogan (1998) proposed two possibilities for the origin of intermittency in slow movements: (1) noise in neuromuscular circuitry, and (2) a movement planner that can only construct simple movements. They showed that the intermittency can not be due to noise or delays in visual feedback.

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Inactive

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Correlation of clinical and robotic motor function recovery measures in stroke patients

Robotic rehabilitation for stroke patients has been an active field of research since the 1990s. There has been many studies focusing on mechanical design of robotic devices, design of software and interfaces for the patients and therapists, identifying quantitative and objective measures for motor improvement, and developing different operating modes/scenarios for the devices. However, a unified set of robotic (based on data captured by the robotic device) motor function improvement measures still does not exist.

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Inactive

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