Robotica

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Design and evaluation of Driver's SEAT: A car steering simulation environment for upper limb stroke therapy


M. J.  Johnson a1a2, H. F. M.  Van der Loos a1a3, C. G.  Burgar a1a3, P.  Shor a1 and L. J.  Leifer a2
a1 Rehabilitation R&D Center (RRDC) – VA Palo Alto HCS, Stanford University (USA)
a2 Depts. of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University (USA)
a3 Functional Restoration, Stanford University (USA)

Abstract

Hemiplegia, affecting approximately 75% of all stroke survivors, is a common neurological impairment that results in upper and lower limb sensory and motor deficits. Recovery of coordinated movement of both upper limbs is important for bilateral function and promotes personal independence. This paper describes the philosophy and design of Driver's Simulation Environment for Arm Therapy, a one-degree-of-freedom robotic device that uses a modified Constraint-Induced therapy paradigm to promote coordinated bilateral movement in the upper limbs. Baseline force and tracking data for four neurologically unimpaired subjects who completed bilateral and unilateral steering with the impaired arm using the device are presented.

(Received October 4 2002)


Key Words: Driver's SEAT; Stroke therapy; Robotic device.