Robot Trainers Bring Hope to Stroke Patients

1 min read

Robot pic

Robot pic

A study done by a group of researchers from Brown University in Rhode Island showed that intensive therapy using a robot helps patients improve their arm movement years after having a stroke. The researchers used the machine to offer three months of training and according to the New England Journal of Medicine, many patients had a better quality of life.

Stroke specialists from the UK said the progress was “exciting” but that the robots were at the early stages of development. A stroke can leave someone with long-term disabilities such as limited movement, loss of strength in upper body, loss of appetite, loss of speech and more.

After a stroke it is recommended that patients go through therapy right away to increase the amount of movement recovered but having a physiotherapist for that needed time period can put pressure on the NHS. So a good solution would be to use machines that help patients do the required movements.

Brown University tested a device called the MITManus, which is designed to help exercise the upper body. The patient sits down at a table and places their arm in the device and then is told to complete tasks with the arm. The robot senses the patients’ movement and helps them if needed. Researchers said that the robot is like “power-steering” for arms. A total of 127 stroke patients took part in the study and were separated into three groups. One group had the robot therapy over three months, the second had three months of intensive therapy from a physiotherapist and the third group had standard care, with no intensive treatment.

The robot group and intensive group greatly improved their upper arm function, and could do simple tasks as using a knife or tie their shoelaces.

The researchers said that they were happy with the results, mainly given the years between the stroke and treatment given to the patients. Dr Albert Lo, who led the study said to BBC New, “We’ve shown that with the right therapy [patients] can see improvements in movement, everyday function and quality of life-this is giving stroke survivors new hope.

Robot closeup

Robot at angle

Photos are courtesy of U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

Source: BBC, Brown University

Avatar of kendracowden

Amazon hosted a secretive robotics conference in Florida

Machine-Learning, (Home) Automation, Robotics, and Space Exploration. Those four areas were the focus of the MARS conference that Amazon hosted at a resort in Florida...
Avatar of Michio Hasai Michio Hasai
1 min read

Domino’s wants to use this autonomous robot to deliver…

Robots are very close to reaching the point where they can start taking over our everyday jobs, and when that happens, fast food jobs...
Avatar of Louie Baur Louie Baur
58 sec read

Alphabet is reportedly planning to get rid of Boston…

Remember Boston Dynamics, that robotics company that Google acquired back in 2013, the same one that posted that video of the creepy robot dogs...
Avatar of Alfie Joshua Alfie Joshua
1 min read

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *