We have developed a three degree of freedom robot with a custom designed video game for ankle rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy and other neuromuscular disorders. Physical therapy is commonly used to stretch and strengthen these patients, but current treatment methods have some limitations. By developing a robotic device and associated airplane video game, we aim to improve ankle range of motion, muscle strength, and motor control in a quantitative manner that is also fun and motivating for the child. Our PedBot robot consists of three intersecting axes with a remote center of motion in the ankle joint area. The patient’s ankle is strapped to PedBot and becomes a controller for the airplane game. The patient flies the plane through a series of rings and a bell sound is made each time the plane successfully passes through the center of a ring. To date we enrolled 4 children ages 4-11 in an IRB approved trial. The children completed up to 5 sessions. All of the children said they enjoyed the therapy. A 4-year old boy who completed all five sessions showed measureable improvements in several degrees of motion. We have also begun EMG based studies to investigate muscle activity during robotic rehabilitation.
Reza Monfaredi, Hadi Fooladi, Pooneh Roshani, Staci Kovelman, Tyler Salvador, Catherine Coley, Sara Alyamani, Paola Pergami, Kevin Cleary, and Sally Evans, "PedBot: robotically assisted ankle robot and video game for children with neuromuscular disorders," Proc. SPIE 10576, Medical Imaging 2018: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling, 105761R (Presented at SPIE Medical Imaging: February 15, 2018; Published: 13 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2295031.
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