Wrist-RoboHab: A robot for treatment and evaluation of brain injury patients
The robotic rehabilitation devices can undertake the difficult physical therapy tasks and provide improved treatment procedures for post stroke patients. During passive working mode, the speed of the exercise needs to be controlled continuously by the robot to avoid excessive injurious torques. We designed a fuzzy controller for a hand rehabilitation robot to adjust the exercise speed by considering the wrist angle and joint resistive torque, measured continuously, and the patient's general condition, determined by the therapist. With a set of rules based on an expert therapist experience, the fuzzy system could adapt effectively to the neuromuscular conditions of the patient's paretic hand. Preliminary clinical tests revealed that the fuzzy controller produced a smooth motion with no sudden change of the speed that could cause pain and activate the muscle reflexive mechanism. This improves the recovery procedure and promotes the robot's performance for wide clinical usage.