Robotic device: Recovery of the Hand Functions of Stroke Patients

Scientists have developed a hand robotic training device to recover the hand functions of stroke patients.

This Exoskeleton is made up of an embedded controller and a robotic hand module, which provide patients with assistive power to perform hand movements and gradually boost relearning in the brains of stroke patients.

One the compact, wearable robotic hand is attached to the patient’s fingers and hand, it begins to detect his or her intention to move through signals from the hemiplegic side measured by surface electromyography. A nervous response then set the robotic hand in motion to move the patient’s stiff hand at his or her own will. The device affords substantial flexibility, as each finger assembly can be adjusted to fit different finger lengths.

Unlike the case with conventional rehabilitation treatment, the assistive power from the robotic hand helps to overcome muscle and joint stiffness, thus allowing the patient to open/close a paralysed hand or pick items up according to his or her own intention. Through repetitive exercises, the hand motions send feedback to the patient’s brain, helping it to rewire itself in response to new experiences.

The device has been developed by Doctor Raymond Tong Kai-yu, Associate Professor of the Department of Health Technology and Informatics, and the Industrial Centre and won a Gold Medal at the 62nd International Trade Fair Ideas – Inventions – New Products in Nuremberg, Germany.

REHACARE.de; Source: Hong Kong Polytechnic University

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