X. Hu, H. Wai, J. Hu, X. Zheng
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
Keywords: neuromuscular electrical stimulation, robot, rehabilitation, electromyography (EMG)
Summary:Voluntary Intention Driven Hybrid Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES)-robotic Exoskeleton for Coordinated Upper Limb Rehabilitation after Stroke Xiaoling Hu* (1), Honwah Wai (1), Junyan Hu (1), Xiaoxiang Zheng (2) (1) The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2) Zhejiang University *E-mail: email@example.com Stroke is a leading cause of adult disability. Effective, easy-to-use, and low-cost rehabilitation devices are in great demand to cope with the shortage of professional manpower in the industry of physical therapy. In this work, we designed a voluntary intention driven functional electrical stimulation (FES)-robotic exoskeleton for multi-joint coordinated upper limb rehabilitation (Fig 1). The system can sense the voluntary effort from residual muscles in the paralyzed upper limb of a stroke survivor by electromyography (EMG) detection, and assist the user to coordinate the elbow, the wrist and the fingers on daily tasks, through successful combination of the advantages of FES and robotic technologies [1, 2]. The system also can maximize the involvement of voluntary motor effort from the paralyzed limbs during the training with an interactive control algorithm for effective rehabilitation. The hybrid FES-robotic exoskeleton can be worn onto the paralyzed limb of a stroke survivor for long-term and intensive physical practice with a weight around 890 g. In order to achieve the wearing comfort, a novel bracing system was designed to manage the pressure and moisture levels applied to the contact skin (Fig 2) [3, 4]. The system also can translate the user’s motions into mouse inputs and interact with computers (Fig 3) . The device coupled with various computer applications can diversify rehabilitation training programmes and enhance the patients’ interest in the process, thus yielding better results. The rehabilitation effectiveness of the hybrid FES and robot training has been investigated through clinical trials on subjects with chronic stroke and subacute stroke recruited from local hospitals. The system can achieve better motor improvements than the traditional upper limb training by human therapist for inpatients with subacute stroke, and the training by pure robot assisted rehabilitation on subjects with chronic stroke (Fig 4). The rehabilitation progress also can be sped up when both FES and robot are assisted in the practice (Fig 5) .