The National Stroke Association estimates that 795,000 strokes will occur this year, and that there are 7,000,000 stroke survivors in the United States over age 20. Approximately 50% of stroke patients lose some form of motor control, often in the hand.
Robotic training is a new technology that shows great potential for application in neurorehabilitation as it has several advantages e.g., motivation, adaptability, data collection, and the ability to provide intensive individualized repetitive practice. Studies on robotic devices for the upper extremity rehabilitation after stroke have shown significant increases in upper limb function, dexterity and fine motor manipulations as well as improved proximal motor control.
The HERRI hand rehabilitation system, developed at the Biomedical Mechatronics lab at Northeastern University, is composed of a 2-DoF robotic interface, virtual environment, practitioner’s graphical user interface (GUI), and the auxiliary control hardware/software. The patient manipulates the robotic hand interface just like a joystick to navigate in a virtual environment (i.e. maze game) while the robot applies force fields to the patient’s hand. The device is intended to aid motor recovery in post-stroke patients through repetitive and coordinated motions for task specific exercises.
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