ARMin – Arm Rehabilitation Robotics
The ARMin exoskeleton was specifically designed for neurorehabilitative training of the arm. The robot enables to provide intensive arm therapy and to quantitatively assess baseline conditions and monitor changes during training. It allows developing novel strategies for motor learning and therapy, which can be evaluated with the device and integrated into clinical practice.
Based on our clinical experience we aim at developing a unique “intensified” robot-aided training strategy of the arm. Innovative, supporting and challenging control strategies as well as multi-modal feedback motivate the patient during games and activities of daily living in virtual reality. A focus is on intuitive handling for both the therapist and the patient. A version especially for children has been developed.
Virtual Intensified and patient-Tailored robotic arm therapy with the exoskeleton robot ARMin: VIT-ARMin
Neurological patients (e.g., after stroke) need long-term neurorehabilitative therapy of the arm. We aim at developing a unique intensified and patient-tailored robot-aided training strategy of the arm. ARMin will be further developed to adapt software components accordingly. The goal is to enhance treatment efficacy to an extent that the improvement in motor function is meaningful for the individual patient. It can be intensified by different strategies that will be evaluated alone and in combination.
Mixed Robotic Strategies
Robotic guidance is used to reduce performance errors while training motor tasks. However, research on motor learning has emphasized that errors drive motor adaptation. Thereby, robotic algorithms that augment movement errors have been proposed. Previous results suggest that haptic guidance enhances the learning of timing components of motor tasks, whereas error amplification is better for learning the spatial components. We aim to study the effect of employing different controllers in parallel that reduce or augment errors based on the timing and spatial characteristics of the task to be learned.
Multiplayer games in robot-assisted arm rehabilitation
The arm therapy robot ARMin, developed in our Sensory-Motor Systems Lab, can demonstrably improve motor functions even years after stroke (Klamroth-Marganska et al. 2014). In order to intensify the therapy, supplementary motivational, technology-based motion game platforms are now to be integrated which allow shared and concurrent playing by multiple patients. Thus, forms of social interaction are presented to the patient.
Fusing conventional and robotic arm therapy: ARMin V
Robots are applied in therapy of stroke patients to restore lost motor function. Over the past years, the use of robots in therapy has been constantly increasing: Robots enable high intensity training through an increased training duration and a large number of movement repetitions, while the therapists are relieved from physical work.
In this project, we want to develop new therapy concepts that will increase the usability of the ARMin robot. In return, these new concepts are believed to tailor increased therapy outcomes.
Children with neurological disorders (e.g. cerebral palsy) often show an impairment of their arm motor function, affecting their independence and participation in daily life. Intensive rehabilitation training with active participation is important to trigger neuroplasticity in order to recover and learn motor functions. We are developing a pediatric version of the ARMin rehabilitation robot, called the children ARMin (ChARMin). ChARMin can is aimed for children aged 5 to 18 years. The wide size ranges within this age group and the heterogeneity within the neurological disorders result in challenging requirement for the design of the new robot. This includes a high level of adjustability, increased safety for children, reduced joint friction and a high backdrivability.