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Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 1 • Date Mar 1995

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Displaying Results 1 - 16 of 16
  • The role of assessment and evaluation in rehabilitation robotics research and development: moving from concept to clinic to context

    Page(s): 56 - 61
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    The role of assessment is a critical component of the assistive technology research and development process which serves to link engineers, clinicians, and individuals with disabilities. The author provides a clinical perspective and discusses the process used to evaluate the feasibility and viability of several rehabilitation robotics systems developed at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Medical Center/Stanford University View full abstract»

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  • Graphical user interfaces and visually disabled users

    Page(s): 65 - 69
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    From February 1992 until the end of 1993, the authors ((IPO) Institute for Perception Research) participated in a European ((TIDE) Technology Initiative for Disabled and Elderly) project which addressed the problem arising for visually disabled computer-users from the growing use of Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs). With the authors' project partners (Frank Audiodata, the Nottingham Polytechnic, and Sensory Visionaid), they developed and evaluated a system which allows visually disabled users of computers to continue using computers, despite the fact that the workplace must, for reasons of uniformity, service, system management, etc., adapt to the use of GUI's. In principle, two approaches to dealing with the aforementioned problem are possible. Firstly, a software bridge can be made to transfer system information to and from a user-specific I/O device (e.g., a Braille line and keyboard). Secondly, a hardware solution can be created, consisting of a second computer which taps the video output and feeds back information via the keyboard and/or mouse connection. Each solution has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, both approaches require modeling of the GUI information in order to transfer data efficiently between the GUI and the user-specific I/O device. In the authors' project, the hardware approach was chosen, the pros and cons of which are discussed here. The GUI modeling proved feasible and is incorporated in the VISA-comp system. The authors' usability evaluation showed that visually disabled users can have access to a GUI, although it takes them about three times longer than sighted users View full abstract»

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  • MARCUS: a two degree of freedom hand prosthesis with hierarchical grip control

    Page(s): 70 - 76
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    An important factor in the acceptance of a prosthesis is the ease with which the wearer can operate the device. Multiple degrees of freedom of a prosthesis are difficult to control independently and require a high level of concentration. If the control is arranged in a hierarchical manner and the lower levels' detailed control is performed by a microprocessor, it is possible to control a number of degrees with little direct intervention by the operator. A two degree of freedom hand has been developed to demonstrate this concept and has been made sufficiently compact to allow users to gain experience with it View full abstract»

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  • Intelligent robotic systems in service of the disabled

    Page(s): 14 - 21
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    The authors argue that intelligence is necessary in robots used for rehabilitation in order to reduce the amount of mental activity needed by the user of these robots. With this in mind, the areas of research relevant to imparting robotic systems with the capability of assuming a more intelligent role are identified. The authors describe their implementation of functionalities such as fuzzy command interpretation, object recognition, face tracking, and task planning and learning, which are part of the ISAC, an intelligent system designed to feed individuals with physical disabilities View full abstract»

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  • Automated image analysis in visuo-motor testing for the specification of an integrated evaluative and therapy support tool for rehabilitation

    Page(s): 103 - 111
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    The rehabilitation process can include both diagnostic and therapy-directed elements and both are important in addressing the problems of visuo-motor dysfunction, since in such cases it is important both to provide an objective, reliable, and efficient evaluation of the clinical condition of a patient and, whenever possible, to use the information thereby obtained to specify, refine, or optimize an appropriate program of rehabilitation therapy. The authors seek to develop an approach to the analysis of individual behavioral patterns relating to motor-perceptual functioning which is of relevance in both these areas. Specifically, the techniques discussed will provide an integrated framework within which the evaluation of visuo-motor functioning can be closely coupled to the provision of appropriate therapy programs for patients suffering or at risk from such forms of impairment. Practical case studies are reported to demonstrate the range of data acquisition and analysis procedures inherent in the approach, and the implications for the development of an integrated support tool for rehabilitation applications are explored in detail View full abstract»

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  • Electronic design of a cochlear implant for multichannel high-rate pulsatile stimulation strategies

    Page(s): 112 - 116
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    A new electronic design for an eight-channel cochlear implant for high-rate pulsatile stimulation strategies is presented. Symmetric biphasic current pulses can be generated up to a maximum pulse repetition rate of about 12 kpulses/s. The stimulation pulse amplitude can be selected within the range of 1.5 μA-1.5 mA. The implant contains a single mixed analog/digital CMOS-ASIC for data synchronization and stimulus generation. Stimulation signals are applied via a monopolar intracochlear multielectrode array. Output capacitors are employed for safety reasons. A back-telemetry system for measuring electrode voltages and the implant supply voltage is incorporated. Data and power are transcutaneously transferred to the implant, using a single rf-channel. The overall data rate is 400 kb/s View full abstract»

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  • Enhanced metrics for identification of forearm rehabilitation

    Page(s): 122 - 131
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    The purpose of this investigation was to examine the effect of different spatial force reflection algorithms on target acquisition for both able-bodied and spastic individuals, and to compare the sensitivity of time domain parameters to phase plane parameters as metrics of altered performance. Individuals who experience random motor spasms during forearm motion were selected from diagnostic groups including head trauma, cerebro-vascular accident, and cerebral palsy. The experiment investigated the ability of four spatial force reflection algorithms to enhance target acquisition performance for these individuals and for able-bodied controls. Time domain performance metrics included reaction, motion, and acquisition times. These parameters show that spastic individuals benefit from force reflection and that improvement is enhanced with increasing Polynomial order of the force reflection algorithm. Error phase plane parameters appear to be even more sensitive to the effect of force reflection and reveal that able-bodied subjects spend less time on fine motor control with the aid of force reflection View full abstract»

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  • VA/Stanford rehabilitation robotics research and development program: lessons learned in the application of robotics technology to the field of rehabilitation

    Page(s): 46 - 55
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    The Rehabilitation Research and Development Center of the Pale Alto VA teamed up with the Stanford University Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1978 under the leadership of Prof. L. Leifer to start a rehabilitation robotics program that has benefited from five major funding cycles to date. Many lessons were learned along the way, mostly through the interactions between engineering staff, clinical staff, persons with high level quadriplegia who served as test subjects and their families and attendants. The prototypes that were developed acted as sounding boards, revealing what worked, what did not, what had promise, what was realistic given state-of-the-art elements, and when the level of technology allowed a certain feature to be usable in a daily use environment. The author examines the chronology of the program with a special emphasis on broad-scope effects. References to discussions of individual aspects and studies are provided View full abstract»

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  • Standardization as a prerequisite for accessibility of electronic text information for persons who cannot use printed material

    Page(s): 84 - 89
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    Describes the whole field of accessible text formats for reading-impaired persons. A broad overview of existing code systems ranging from ill-defined basic ASCII up to 16- and 32-bit multilingual character sets (ISO and Unicode versions) are given, as well as details on the standardized ISO formats for structured documents (SGML and ODA). In order to underline the importance of electronic text standardization, a few current systems, both diskette and electronic mail implementations, are reviewed. Within this framework, the authors situate the activities of the ICADD committee, an international body that promotes the accessibility of text information through the use of global standards for structured texts. In Europe, the TIDE-CAPS project is mainly concerned with document access for the print-disabled. An SGML DTD for newspapers, called CAPSNEWS, has been developed; this DTD describes a fully general newspaper structure. This DTD also has some special provisions for visually impaired persons, which enables them to navigate through digital newspapers by means of large print on screen, voice synthesis, and Braille display readers. The benefits of structured document formats, both for the print-disabled and for publishers, are stressed throughout a new European Horizontal Action TIDE Program, HARMONY, which started in Autumn 1994 View full abstract»

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  • A biofeedback cane system: instrumentation and subject application results

    Page(s): 132 - 138
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    A system has been developed to measure axial cane forces while walking. An audio alarm can be programmed to sound within adjustable limits according to the cane load magnitude. Cane load sensors provide input to a portable data acquisition system which is designed to perform analog to digital conversion and store the force data using a precalibrated look-up table. The audio alarm is controlled on the basis of sensor look-up table values with high and low thresholds set as a ratio of subject weight. High-speed CMOS technology and the Motorola 68HC11 microprocessor were used in the design to limit power consumption. Ten normal adult subjects were used to evaluate the system. Measurements were made using the system with and without audio feedback. The system is suggested for further use in the characterization of feedback on cane and lower extremity load metrics View full abstract»

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  • Rehabilitation robotics in Europe

    Page(s): 35 - 45
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    Provides a summary of European work in rehabilitation robotics. The historical background to current work in this field is described. The European Union's TIDE funding initiative is introduced and recent projects established under this initiative are summarized. The practical effect of TIDE on the European market for rehabilitation equipment is discussed. European projects funded from other sources are also described. The authors conclude with an assessment of the future direction for research and development in rehabilitation robotics View full abstract»

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  • Robotics in rehabilitation

    Page(s): 77 - 83
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    Robotics in rehabilitation provide considerable opportunities to improve the quality of life for physically disabled people. However, practical results are limited, mainly due to the need for developing new robotics concepts where people are working together with robots, as opposed to industrial robots where they are working in separated areas. The authors reveal some of the developments needed and present two projects currently underway at Lund University. The first one is concerned with end-effector design for a robotic workstation for office-based tasks, while the second is concerned with a mobile robotic system for use in medical and chemical laboratories by disabled people. Both projects show promising results. There is also a need for further research in developing new robotic systems for use in rehabilitation with new mechanical features, as well as programming and control suitable for any user View full abstract»

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  • Applications of robotic/mechatronic systems in special education, rehabilitation therapy, and vocational training: a paradigm shift

    Page(s): 22 - 34
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    Presents and discusses a variety of robotic and mechatronic system applications that deviate from traditional rehabilitation uses, augmenting or replacing lost functional abilities, to applications which use these systems as therapeutic tools serving as part of the rehabilitation, vocational therapy, and educational process. These applications will include those systems designed and developed by the Enabling Technologies Laboratory at Wayne State University, as well as other organizations. Themes are emerging from the experiences gained through these diverse applications. Robotic/mechatronic systems promote active participation by the client. They are finding applications where consistent, repeatable manipulative operations are required for extended periods of time. The roles played by therapists, teachers, and service providers change as the role of the technology changes. Service providers are freed from mundane nontherapeutic or noneducational activities, and consequently are able to focus more fully on the client and the therapeutic or educational tasks. The systems have characteristics that improve their cost/effectiveness. For example, therapists or service providers can often leverage their time and attention by accomplishing multiple objectives and/or serving multiple clients with a given therapeutic or educational task. The systems typically perform multiple functions. Therapeutic activity is generally billable, and therefore the technology represents a revenue source. Since the technology is used by a number of clients, its cost can, be amortized over this client base. Lastly, clients tend to enjoy working with the technology. Each application is different, but in general, the systems are providing clients the positive effects of competent participation in a task or activity. These applications present system uses that go beyond augmentation and replacement of lost functional abilities and, as such, are expanding the popular model, or paradigm, regarding robotic and mechatronic system applications View full abstract»

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  • Choice of speech features for tactile presentation to the profoundly deaf

    Page(s): 117 - 121
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    Measurements have been made, using acoustic presentation of stimuli, to compare a variety of speech-derived signals (amplitude envelope, voice fundamental frequency, second-formant frequency, zero-crossing frequency, and an “on/off” control derived from the amplitude envelope via a comparator) as to their suitability for tactile presentation to the profoundly deaf as an aid to speech reception. Segmental (phonemic) information was conveyed adequately by all five signals; suprasegmental (stress) information was conveyed very well by voice fundamental frequency, and significantly less well by the other signals. The best choice of speech features for presentation via a practical tactile aid is discussed View full abstract»

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  • A review of design issues in rehabilitation robotics with reference to North American research

    Page(s): 3 - 13
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    Since rehabilitation robotics is a small field, progress toward useful devices will be faster if research groups are cognizant of the successes and failures that have been made in the past. The authors review past and present work, focusing on projects in North America (a companion paper in this issue reviews work in Europe), and attempts to identify the key features that have led to the success or failure of devices. Of particular note is the reliance in the past on position controlled robots, as these were the available level of technology. Lack of exemplar products has made it difficult for researchers to identify the needs and expectations that a person with a physical disability might have of a rehabilitation robot. This situation is changing rapidly and the field can now benefit from “consumer in the loop” research and design methods View full abstract»

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  • Converting speech into lip movements: a multimedia telephone for hard of hearing people

    Page(s): 90 - 102
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    Presents the latest results of a research activity oriented to the development of a multimedia telephone for hard of hearing persons, based on the conversion of speech into graphic animation suitable to lipreading. The approach followed aims at the experimentation of a pilot telematic service for interpersonal communication, thus enlarging and improving the possibilities of social integration for hearing-impaired people. A preliminary prototype of the multimedia telephone has been integrated in a software demonstrator implemented on a Silicon Graphics workstation and is currently experimented in cooperation with FIADDA, the Italian Association of the parents of hearing-impaired children, to prove the feasibility of the system and the concrete possibility of providing new relay mediation services oriented to multimedia interpersonal communication for hard of hearing users. The developed algorithms rely on advanced methodologies in the field of nonlinear signal processing through neural network architectures, geometric modeling, computer graphics, and animation. Experimental results, although still preliminary, are encouraging and prove the system's feasibility View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

This Transaction ceased publication in 2000. The current retitled publication is IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabiliation Engineering.

Full Aims & Scope