Reducing Compensatory Movements in Stroke Therapy through the Use of Robotic Devices and Augmented Feedback

Compensatory movements are commonly employed by stroke survivors to adapt to the loss of motor function. However, their long-term use can be detrimental to post-stroke recovery of function. In this work, we focused on trunk displacement, which is a compensatory movement that stroke survivors use when reaching forward. Current therapeutic practices to reduce this tendency rely on the use of physical restraints to secure a person to a chair. An alternate approach to reduce compensation is the use of active technology that delivers augmented feedback about trunk movement. Using this methodology provides several advantages over physical restraints, such as: the person is actively involved in the planning and executing of the movement rather than relying on a physical barrier that continuously prevents trunk movement; the feedback intensity, frequency, and thresholds can easily be modified in real time; the system is less intrusive as it does not require the person to be strapped or secured to a chair by someone else; it can be used safely without direct supervision; the trunk compensation feedback can be used as a variable inside a motivating video game scenario. For this project we employed commercial robotic devices (3D Systems Phantoms and Kinova Jacos) and a motion tracking camera (Microsoft Kinect).


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