The University of California at Irvine is leading a study on how robots can help long-term stroke victims regain their mobility. 15 patients, who averaged around 61 years of age and suffered a stroke at least 10 years before undergoing the robot assisted therapy, were taught to grip and gesture thanks to a robotic arm that cradled their hands.
The robotic cradle helps shape the hand into the positions it needs to be in to perform various tasks, helping work the appropriate muscles and reform the connections the brain needs to make to tell the hand to operate.
After a few months undergoing the therapy, the patients all improved — though those who had more mobility to begin with showed rapid gains. Understandably, the patients with more disability would take longer to improve, but it does show that robotic assistance is a viable way to help people regain mobility through therapy.
A video of the robotic therapy can be found by clicking here.
Via Mail Online