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Rehabilitation robotics: An academic engineer perspective

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1 Author(s)
Krebs, H.I. ; Mech. Eng. Dept., Massachusetts Inst. of Technol., Cambridge, MA, USA

In this paper, we present a retrospective review of our efforts to revolutionize the way physical medicine is practiced by developing and deploying rehabilitation robots. We present a sample of our clinical results with well over 600 stroke patients, both inpatients and outpatients. We discuss the different robots developed at our laboratory over the past 20 years and their unique characteristics. All are configured both to deliver reproducible interactive therapy and also to measure outcomes with minimal encumbrance, thus providing critical measurement tools to help unravel the key remaining question: what constitutes “best practice”? While success to date indicates that this therapeutic application of robots has opened an emerging new frontier in physical medicine and rehabilitation, the barrier to further progress lies not in developing new hardware but rather in finding the most effective way to enhance neuro-recovery. We close this manuscript discussing some of the tools required for advancing the effort beyond the present state to what we believe will be the central feature of research during the next 10 years.

Published in:

Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC, 2011 Annual International Conference of the IEEE

Date of Conference:

Aug. 30 2011-Sept. 3 2011