Tele-robotics project could help people recover from strokes

Tele-robotics project could help people recover from strokes
Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire have begun a three year robotics project to help people recover from strokes.

The SCRIPT initiative (Supervised Care and Rehabilitation Involving Personal Tele-robotics) is aimed at developing robotic devices that can facilitate repetitive movement of the hand and wrist to be delivered during the chronic phases of stroke rehabilitation.

Dr Farshid Amirabdollahian, a senior lecturer in adaptive systems at the University's School of Computer Science, explained: "The project focus on hand and wrist exercise presents the least researched area in this field and has the potential to make a big contribution to personal independence.

"Our developed prototypes will be available for home use and in a motivating and engaging context, which should provide easier and more frequently available tools, which should in turn affect the patient recovery."

The researchers plan to develop a tele-robotic communication platform which patients can use in their own homes and which can be managed remotely.

They will utilise state of the art software to investigate therapeutic human robot interaction and will focus on adapting robot interaction forces to those required for a therapeutic interaction.

According to Dr Amirabdollahian, this will allow for a more natural interaction. "The goal," he concluded, "is to provide patients with immediate feedback as well as providing immediate feedback to off-site health care professionals."

Laura Hopperton

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