Robotic Orthotic Device for Finger Rehabilitation
An upper limb robotic orthotic device was developed for rehabilitating post stroke and other neurologically damaged patients. The automated control was implemented on a personal computer (LabVIEW) and an Arduino electronic board. The system consisted of four servo motors with a crank mechanism attached to them, which converted their rotational motion into a linear one, and as a result enabled to flex and extend the fingers of the hand. The purpose of this motion was to reduce spasticity, paresis and muscular tone by promoting early movement of the hand after suffering a stroke or other debilitating neurological condition, and also to encourage neuroplastic changes in the brain, by creating new connections between functional neurons to control the affected limbs. Using the proposed device the patient would have the opportunity to practice and perform key aspects of their rehabilitation program with the supervision of a therapist. In addition, the main constrains for this project were to use “low cost” commercially available components, and that all of the fingers except for the thumb were able to move independently in a manual and automatic mode.