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Feb 25, 2007

Socially assistive robotics for post-stroke rehabilitation

Socially assistive robotics for post-stroke rehabilitation

By Maja J Mataric', Jon Eriksson, David J Feil-Seifer and Carolee J Winstein, Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation

Background: Although there is a great deal of success in rehabilitative robotics applied to patient recovery post-stoke, most of the rehabilitation research to date has dealt with providing physical assistance. However, new studies support the theory that not all therapy need be hands-on. We describe a new area, called socially assistive robotics, that focuses on non-contact patient/user assistance. We demonstrate the approach with an implemented and tested post-stroke recovery robot and discuss its potential for effectiveness. Results: We describe a pilot study involving an autonomous assistive mobile robot that aids stoke patient rehabilitation by providing monitoring, encouragement, and reminders. The robot navigates autonomously, monitors the patient's arm activity, and helps the patient remember to follow a rehabilitation program. We also show preliminary results from a follow-up study that studied the role of robot physical embodiment in a rehabilitation context. Conclusions: Future experimental design and factors that will be considered in order to develop effective socially assistive post-stroke rehabilitation robot are outlined and discussed.


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