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[2021-Vol.18-Issue 6]Quantitative Progress Evaluation of Post-stroke Patients Using a Novel Bimanual Cable-driven Robot
Post: 2021-12-23 12:37  View:246

Journal of Bionic Engineering (2021) 18:1331–1343 https://doi.org/10.1007/s42235-021-00102-y

Quantitative Progress Evaluation of Post-stroke Patients Using a Novel Bimanual Cable-driven Robot

 Thiago Alves1  · Rogério Sales Goncalves1  · Giuseppe Carbone2

1 Laboratory of Automation and Robotics, School of Mechanical Engineering, Federal University of Uberlandia, Uberlandia 38400-902, Brazil
2 Department of Mechanical, Energy and Management Engineering, University of Calabria, 87036 Rende, Italy 

Abstract  Rehabilitation is the most efective way to reduce motor impairments in post-stroke patients. This process demands several hours with a specialized therapist. Given resources and personnel shortages, the literature reports a high interest in robotic assisted rehabilitation solutions. Recently, cable-driven robotic architectures are attracting signifcant research interest for post-stroke rehabilitation. However, the existing cable-driven robots are mostly unilateral devices allowing the rehabilitation only of the most afected limb. This leaves unaddressed the rehabilitation of bimanual activities, which are predominant within the common Activities of Daily Living (ADL). Thus, this paper presents a specifc novel design to achieve bimanual rehabilitation tasks that has been named as BiCAR robot. Specifcally, this paper provides a full insight on the BiCAR system as well as on its dedicated developed software BiEval. In particular, BiEval software has been developed as based on a serious game strategy and a virtual reality environment to track the patient exercising duration, motion ranges, speeds, and forces over time for achieving a quantitative assessment of the rehabilitation progress. Finally, the paper presents the BiCAR/ BiEval capabilities by referring to a pilot Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT). The clinical trials have been used to validate the BiCAR/BiEval in terms of engineering feasibility and user acceptance to achieve an innovative cost-oriented integrated hardware/software device for the bimanual assistive rehabilitation of post-stroke patients. 

Keywords  Cable-driven robots · Low cost · Stroke rehabilitation · Bimanual · Progress tracking · Serious games

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Bimanual configuration of the cable-driven robot, a DOF (rotation over z-axis and y-translation); b computational model (simulation)

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