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Sensors 2016, 16(10), 1633; doi:10.3390/s16101633

Design and Construction of a Bilateral Haptic System for the Remote Assessment of the Stiffness and Range of Motion of the Hand

1
Department of Management and Engineering, University of Padova, Stradella S. Nicola 3, 36100 Vicenza, Italy
2
Center for the Development of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Av. Lib. Bernardo O’higgins, 3363 Santiago, Chile
3
Department of Neuroscience, Universiy-General Hospital of Padova, Via Giustiniani 2, 35128 Padova, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Dan Zhang
Received: 29 June 2016 / Revised: 21 September 2016 / Accepted: 27 September 2016 / Published: 1 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Robotics and Mechatronics Devices)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3541 KB, uploaded 1 October 2016]   |  

Abstract

The use of haptic devices in the rehabilitation of impaired limbs has become rather popular, given the proven effectiveness in promoting recovery. In a standard framework, such devices are used in rehabilitation centers, where patients interact with virtual tasks, presented on a screen. To track their sessions, kinematic/dynamic parameters or performance scores are recorded. However, as Internet access is now available at almost every home and in order to reduce the hospitalization time of the patient, the idea of doing rehabilitation at home is gaining wide consent. Medical care programs can be synchronized with the home rehabilitation device; patient data can be sent to the central server that could redirect to the therapist laptop (tele-healthcare). The controversial issue is that the recorded data do not actually represent the clinical conditions of the patients according to the medical assessment scales, forcing them to frequently undergo clinical tests at the hospital. To respond to this demand, we propose the use of a bilateral master/slave haptic system that could allow the clinician, who interacts with the master, to assess remotely and in real time the clinical conditions of the patient that uses the home rehabilitation device as the slave. In this paper, we describe a proof of concept to highlight the main issues of such an application, limited to one degree of freedom, and to the measure of the stiffness and range of motion of the hand. View Full-Text
Keywords: rehabilitation robotics; force feedback; remote rehabilitation; series elastic actuator; tele-assessment rehabilitation robotics; force feedback; remote rehabilitation; series elastic actuator; tele-assessment
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Oscari, F.; Oboe, R.; Daud Albasini, O.A.; Masiero, S.; Rosati, G. Design and Construction of a Bilateral Haptic System for the Remote Assessment of the Stiffness and Range of Motion of the Hand. Sensors 2016, 16, 1633.

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