Robots help stroke patients regain movement


Also in operation at the Baltimore Center is the “MIT-Manus” robot, which has been proven in clinical trials to help stroke patients regain movement of their arms.

During therapy, a stroke sufferer sits at a table with the patient’s lower arm in a brace attached to the arm of the robot.

A video screen prompts the patient to perform an arm exercise such as connecting a series of dots or drawing hands on a clock. If movement does not occur, the robot moves the person’s arm.

If the patient initiates movement, the robot provides adjustable levels of guidance and assistance to facilitate the person’s arm movement.

In the first clinical trial of the robot, researchers found that stroke patients who used the machine four to five hours a week improved faster than those who did not receive robot-assisted therapy.

The research, carried out during the past decade, concluded that manual manipulation of a stroke victim’s disabled limb aids recovery of use of that limb.

“There had been a great deal of intuitive belief that this works, but our research provided conclusive objective evidence,” MIT professor Neville Hogan said.

How awesome is that?