Robotic care: a low cost design to assist therapy for brain stroke rehabilitation

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Prieto, Pablo (1); Auat, Fernando (2); Escobar, Maria (2); Vallejos, Ronny (3); Maldonado, Paula (4); Larrain, Cristobal (4); Serey, Martin (1)
Series: ICED
Institution: Universidad T
Section: Design for healthcare
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


A low cost robotic-assisted prototype for finger and hand rehabilitation of people affected by a stroke is presented. The system was developed by a team of undergraduate students led by a Design lecturer in collaboration with the Rehabilitation Unit of the Pe?ablanca Public Hospital in Chile.

The system consists of a flexion sensor equipped glove, a hand exoskeleton and an Arduino control unit. The patient wears the glove in his healthy hand. When s/he performs movements with the healthy hand, the sensors register the flexion of the fingers and send this information to the servo motors installed in an exoskeleton attached to the affected hand. In this way, the affected hand reproduces the movement of the healthy hand. The system uses a combination of the mirror therapy (the patient sees his/her affected hand moving in the same way that the healthy hand does) and passive exercising (as the exoskeleton produces the movement of the hand affected by the stroke). The combination of two types of therapy in a single low cost system makes the present work unique. In the near future, the developed prototype will be used to validate the effectiveness of the new proposed robotic therapy.

Keywords: Open source design, Design for health, Social responsibility, Biomedical design


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