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Supporting Rehabilitation of Disabled Using Industrial Robots for Upper Limb Motion Therapy


This project focuses on developing a robotic rehabilitation system (REHAROB) for upper limb motion therapy for patients with neuro-motor impairments. REHAROB will provide personalised, three-dimensional motion therapy, which will be driven by industrial robots using intelligent identification of the required physiotherapy motions. The key developments of REHAROB will be four-fold:

REHAROB will automate the physiotherapy motion exercise.
REHAROB will be built from commercially available equipment hence making it easy to manufacture.
REHAROB will use new motion therapy techniques developed in this project.
The use of REHAROB will not only reduce the time and the cost of rehabilitation but also increase the rehabilitation success rate.

The main project objectives are:
-to identify the limitations of human assisted upper limb motion therapy in neuro-rehabilitation and to propose advanced solutions to overcome limitations in neuro-rehabilitation such as the mechanical foundation of impairment and motion therapy, limited capabilities of therapists, and automated impairment assessment and personalised therapy
-to propose, develop and assess improved physiotherapy methods for the neuro-rehabilitation of the upper arm
-to apply and develop advanced, intelligent techniques for motion analysis
-to develop advanced robotic trajectory planning methods and robot control techniques for motion therapy of the upper arm
and to design, build and clinically test a robotic rehabilitation station, called REHAROB for the improved motion physiotherapy of the upper arm.

Work description
The project work is structured in the following work packages:

Analysis, modelling and measurement of upper limb motion therapy. It will review the state-of-the-art in neuro-rehabilitation, mechanical modelling of the upper limb, and the motion therapies used. An industrial robot will be selected for the therapy.
Physiotherapy monitoring and documentation system. It will include the set-up of the motion analyser system with sufficient sensors, active markers, receivers and computational equipment. Later a dummy limb will be developed.
Adaptation of the selected industrial robot.
Methods and equipment for an improved upper limb motion therapy. Application of emerging technologies such as knowledge-based tool, genetic software algorithm (artificial intelligence) and virtual reality will bring the additional value of the project to the current state-of-the-art of rehabilitation of patients with neuro-motor impairments.
Implementation and clinical/economical assessment of the REHAROB prototype cell. Virtual reality will be used to test the functionality of the therapy cell. Then the cell will be built and the dummy limb will be used for physical measurements. Volunteers with no impairments will be recruited for motion therapy tests. Finally, voluntary patients will try and clinically test the REHAROB cell by conducting motion exercises.
Promotion and dissemination of REHAROB. It aims to reduce development costs by using commercial equipment and to provide customers and sponsors of the REHAROB system with accurate return-on-investment case studies and calculations.
Project management.

Kick-off milestone: Measurement and motion therapy methodology for the upper limb of patients with neuro-motor impairments.
Mid-term milestone: Implemented physiotherapy monitoring system.
Technical milestone: Methods and equipment for an improved upper limb motion therapy.
Final milestone: Intelligent and cost-effective system for autonomous motion therapy of disabled with neuromotor impairments.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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Total cost
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Participants (4)