(Image: University of Rhode Island)

An assistive planar robot includes a cutting-edge closed-loop feedback system to monitor the muscle and brain activity of the user in order to trigger the execution of reach and grab in an adaptive way.

The project, which aims to make significant strides in rehabilitation methodologies, will advance the rehabilitation of upper-extremity motor functions for post-stroke patients. User-generated feedback will tailor the device to each user. The use for post-stroke patients could be immediate.

Users will be able to more quickly recover neural plasticity, improving their brain capacity to continue growing and evolving, adapting and changing through the creation of new neurons and networks. The user-centered robotic device can also provide occupational therapy in the patient’s own home. Having a device at home, outside of the clinical setting, would mean more integration into daily life and more physical therapy for patients.

The project focuses on developing a user-friendly wearable exoskeleton for adaptive assistance. Through a portable robotic training platform, the team aims to overcome barriers, accelerate recovery, and advance the understanding of post-stroke upper arm extremity rehabilitation.

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