The field of rehabilitation robotics has grown steadily over the past decade, with significant clinical contributions. Studies have demonstrated both the efficacy and advantages of robotics for assessing and treating motor impairment. Recent guidelines such as the 2010 American Heart Association’s “Comprehensive Overview of Nursing and Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation Care of the Stroke Patient” and the Veterans Administration’s and the Department of Defense’s “Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Stroke Rehabilitation” endorsed the use of rehabilitation robotics for the upper extremity rehabilitation following a stroke. These guidelines are in agreement with recent meta-analyses such as the Cochrane Report “Electromechanical and robot-assisted arm training for improving generic activities of daily living, arm function, and arm muscle strength after stroke (Review 2012)” and “Effectsof robot-assisted therapy on stroke rehabilitation in upper limbs: Systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature (JRRD 2012).” The purpose of this talk is to provide a concise yet broad-based introduction to key topics in rehabilitation robotics, review the state-of-the-art of upper and lower extremity rehabilitation robotics, discuss the modality potential and limitations, as well as approaches to optimize rehabilitation robotics and augment its outcomes. I will conclude this talk discussing the potential of rehab robotics as a biomarker to assess new interventions and drugs to treat patients. By offering a higher resolution biomarker, we hope to overcome the large patient population “curse” and speed up the march-of-progress.
Robotics, Neuro-Rehabilitation, and Human-Machine Interactions