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Title: ReachMAN to help sub-acute patients training reaching and manipulation
Author: Yeong, Che Fai
ISNI:       0000 0004 2696 3761
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2011
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Conventional rehabilitation after stroke, consisting in one-to-one practice with the therapist, is labor-intensive and subjective. Furthermore, there is evidence that increasing training would benefit the motor function of stroke survivors, though the available resources do not allow it. Training with dedicated robotic devices promises to address these problems and to promote motivation through therapeutic games. The goal of this project is to develop a simple robotic system to assist rehabilitation that could easily be integrated in existing hospital environments and rehabilitation centers. A study was first carried out to analyze the kinematics of hand movements while performing representative activities of daily living. Results showed that movements were confined to one plane so can be trained using a robot with less degrees-of-freedom (DOF). Hence ReachMAN, a compact 3 DOF robot based on an endpoint based approach, was developed to train reaching, forearm pronosupination and grasping, independently or simultaneously. ReachMAN's exercises were developed using games based on software thereby facilitating active participation from patients. Visual, haptic and performance feedback were provided to increase motivation. Tuneable levels of difficulty were provided to suit patient's ability. A pilot study with three subjects was first conducted to evaluate the potential use of ReachMAN as a rehabilitation tool and to determine suitable settings for training. Following positive results from a pilot study, a clinical study was initiated to investigate the effect of rehabilitation using ReachMAN. Preliminary results of 6 subjects show an increase in patients upper limb motor activity, range of movements, smoothness and reduction in movement duration. Subjects reported to be motivated with the robot training and felt that the robot helped in their recovery. The results of this thesis suggest that a compact and simple robot such as ReachMAN can be used to enhance recovery in sub-acute stroke patients.
Supervisor: Burdet, Etienne Sponsor: Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral