Development of a Robotic Hand Orthosis for Stroke Patient Rehabilitation
Keywords:stroke, robotic rehabilitation, brain-computer interface, orthosis
This study developed a robotic orthosis capable of detecting the intention of a wearer to move their fingers, thereafter augmenting their muscle force. This was with the aim of producing a device that can be used in post-stroke hand rehabilitation. The design of the orthosis was based on an existing design, which was modified using BLENDER release 2.78 and printed with ABS plastic. An actuator was mounted at the rear end of the orthosis, to provide actuation to perform full range flexion and extension motion for digits. Force sensors were embedded at the fingertips of the orthosis to detect minute finger movements. For severe cases where stroke survivors are incapable of little finger movements, the study employed a brain-computer interface to detect the intent to move. The robotic orthosis achieved an accuracy of 64.1% and 62% in detecting unclench and clench activities respectively and actuating the orthosis digits in response. The results revealed that the design presented here can help provide effective hand rehabilitation. The study concluded that the design incorporated with BCI systems is capable of performing hand rehabilitation in a clinical setting as it obtains some level of accuracy in detecting patient intent to move and actuating in response. This design is low cost, and hence will lessen the economic burden for stroke survivors in a poor-resource country.
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