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Robotic Rehabilitation is a novel field of bio engineering combining precise mechanical design with control technology through the interaction of Medical and Engineering professionals to produce a new tool in medical rehabilitation. Paralysis is one of the common symptoms of a stroke sufferer; a medical condition causing weakness in one side of the body. It is treatable with a course of physiotherapy and Interactive Robotics can greatly accelerate this recovery. Although Robotic Rehabilitation is a relatively new technology its benefits are well recognized. The objective of this research work was to develop an interactive robot for the medical rehabilitation of stroke victims. This interactive robot reduces labour intensive procedures, accelerate rehabilitation and provide a valuable aid for rehabilitation therapists. At present, a typical rehabilitation session for a patient suffering from paralysis requires a therapist to execute exercises involving hand on hand interaction. The therapist takes the patients hand and guides him/her through the exercise. Such exercises require circular or diagonal movement, arm extension, retraction and hand movement. Figure1. shows a typical exercise path movement for the right arm. Green diagonal lines show the elbow motion and yellow, the shoulder motion. The blue circle and square show how both elbow and shoulder regions can be combined in some exercises. The interactive robot design developed allows the patient to carry out such exercises without assistance of a therapist. Different exercise paths and degrees of difficulty can be selected from a menu and exercises can be carried out at any time in any suitable location or at home.
Kennedy, D., Deering, P., Conlon, J.: Medical rehabilitation robotics. Matrib International Conference, Croatia. June, 2007.