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Socially assistive robotics for post-stroke rehabilitation

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9 pages
Although there is a great deal of success in rehabilitative robotics applied to patient recovery post stroke, most of the research to date has dealt with providing physical assistance. However, new rehabilitation studies support the theory that not all therapy need be hands-on. We describe a new area, called socially assistive robotics , that focuses on non-contact patient/user assistance. We demonstrate the approach with an implemented and tested post-stroke recovery robot and discuss its potential for effectiveness. Results We describe a pilot study involving an autonomous assistive mobile robot that aids stroke patient rehabilitation by providing monitoring, encouragement, and reminders. The robot navigates autonomously, monitors the patient's arm activity, and helps the patient remember to follow a rehabilitation program. We also show preliminary results from a follow-up study that focused on the role of robot physical embodiment in a rehabilitation context. Conclusion We outline and discuss future experimental designs and factors toward the development of effective socially assistive post-stroke rehabilitation robots.
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Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
BioMedCentral
Open Access Research Socially assistive robotics for post-stroke rehabilitation 1 12 Maja J MatarićJon Eriksson, David J FeilSeifer*and Carolee J Winstein* ,
1 2 Address: ComputerScience Department, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA andDepartment of Neurology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA Email: Maja J Matarić*  mataric@usc.edu; Jon Eriksson  je@kth.se; David J FeilSeifer*  dfseifer@usc.edu; Carolee J Winstein  winstein@usc.edu * Corresponding authors
Published: 19 February 2007Received: 24 April 2006 Accepted: 19 February 2007 Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation2007,4:5 doi:10.1186/1743-0003-4-5 This article is available from: http://www.jneuroengrehab.com/content/4/1/5 © 2007 Matarićet al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract Background:Although there is a great deal of success in rehabilitative robotics applied to patient recovery post stroke, most of the research to date has dealt with providing physical assistance. However, new rehabilitation studies support the theory that not all therapy need be hands-on. We describe a new area, calledsocially assistive robotics, that focuses on non-contact patient/user assistance. We demonstrate the approach with an implemented and tested post-stroke recovery robot and discuss its potential for effectiveness. Results:We describe a pilot study involving an autonomous assistive mobile robot that aids stroke patient rehabilitation by providing monitoring, encouragement, and reminders. The robot navigates autonomously, monitors the patient's arm activity, and helps the patient remember to follow a rehabilitation program. We also show preliminary results from a follow-up study that focused on the role of robot physical embodiment in a rehabilitation context. Conclusion:We outline and discuss future experimental designs and factors toward the development of effective socially assistive post-stroke rehabilitation robots.
Background Stroke is a major cause of neurological disability. Most of those affected are left with some loss of movement. Through concerted use and training of the affected limb during the critical poststroke period, such disability can be significantly reduced [1]. The rate and amount of recovery greatly depends on the amount of focused train ing, along with stroke severity and cognitive availability. Evidence shows that the intensity and frequency of focused therapy can improve functional outcomes [2]. However, since such rehabilitation normally requires supervision of trained professionals, lack of resources lim its the amount of time available for supervised rehabilita tion. As a result, the quality of life of patients post stroke
is dramatically reduced, and medical costs and lost pro ductivity continue to be incurred.
Due to the high instance of stroke today, and its increasing rate in the growing elderly population, poststroke robot assisted therapy is an area of active research. A number of effective systems have been developed, using physical assistance in order to achieve rehabilitative goals. How ever, not all effective rehabilitation therapy requires the use physical contact between the therapist and the patient. Noncontact therapy constitutes the motivation for our work on robotic social interaction as a tool for poststroke rehabilitation. In this paper, we describe a contactfree sociallyassistive poststroke therapeutic robot system. We
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