MIT Skywalker : a novel robot for gait rehabilitation of stroke and cerebral palsy patients
Author(s)Susko, Tyler Gregory
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Skywalker
Novel robot for gait rehabilitation of stroke and cerebral palsy patients
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Hermano Igo Krebs.
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Every two minutes, 3 people in the United States will have a stroke and every hour an American baby is born with cerebral palsy. The only method available to recover from motor impairments associated with these brain injuries is time-consuming labor intensive physical and occupational therapy. Upper extremity rehabilitation robotics is well established and recommended by the American Heart Association, the Veterans Administration, and the Department of Defense; however, lower extremity rehabilitation robots are still in their infancy, so far leading to inferior results when compared to manual methods in the only available sizable randomized control trials. Thus, there exists an urgent need for novel methods to augment gait rehabilitation. This thesis outlines the design and development of a novel gait rehabilitation robot, the MIT-Skywalker, that enables the exploration of new methods of gait rehabilitation based on current understanding of the neuroscience of motor control. Because each patient's impairment is unique, the MIT-Skywalker system creates a flexible environment that accommodates a wide spectrum of pathological gaits. It can operate in three unique modes. The first promotes the rhythmicity of walking by removing the floor constraint during the swing phase of walking. The second mode fosters discrete start and stop movements and focuses on the accuracy of heel placement. Finally, a balance program perturbs gait in the frontal plane to engage balance mechanisms. A one-month feasibility study with the MIT-Skywalker demonstrated positive outcomes for two adults with impairments due to cerebral palsy and one person with chronic stroke and proved the safety and viability of each training mode.
Thesis: Ph. D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 2015.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 313-322).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology