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Neglected physical human-robot interaction may explain variable outcomes in gait neurorehabilitation research


Plooij, M; Apte, S; Keller, U; Baines, P; Sterke, B; Asboth, L; Courtine, G; von Zitzewitz, J; Vallery, H (2021). Neglected physical human-robot interaction may explain variable outcomes in gait neurorehabilitation research. Science Robotics, 6(58):abf1888.

Abstract

During gait neurorehabilitation, many factors influence the quality of gait patterns, particularly the chosen body-weight support (BWS) device. Consequently, robotic BWS devices play a key role in gait rehabilitation of people with neurological disorders. The device transparency, support force vector direction, and attachment to the harness vary widely across existing robotic BWS devices, but the influence of these factors on the production of gait remains unknown. Because this information is key to designing an optimal BWS, we systematically studied these determinants in this work. We report that with a highly transparent device and a conventional harness, healthy participants select a small backward force when asked for optimal BWS conditions. This unexpected finding challenges the view that during human-robot interactions, humans predominantly optimize energy efficiency. Instead, they might seek to increase their feeling of stability and safety. We also demonstrate that the location of the attachment points on the harness strongly affects gait patterns, yet harness attachment is hardly reported in literature. Our results establish principles for the design of BWS devices and personalization of BWS settings for gait neurorehabilitation.

Abstract

During gait neurorehabilitation, many factors influence the quality of gait patterns, particularly the chosen body-weight support (BWS) device. Consequently, robotic BWS devices play a key role in gait rehabilitation of people with neurological disorders. The device transparency, support force vector direction, and attachment to the harness vary widely across existing robotic BWS devices, but the influence of these factors on the production of gait remains unknown. Because this information is key to designing an optimal BWS, we systematically studied these determinants in this work. We report that with a highly transparent device and a conventional harness, healthy participants select a small backward force when asked for optimal BWS conditions. This unexpected finding challenges the view that during human-robot interactions, humans predominantly optimize energy efficiency. Instead, they might seek to increase their feeling of stability and safety. We also demonstrate that the location of the attachment points on the harness strongly affects gait patterns, yet harness attachment is hardly reported in literature. Our results establish principles for the design of BWS devices and personalization of BWS settings for gait neurorehabilitation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Mechanical Engineering
Physical Sciences > Computer Science Applications
Physical Sciences > Control and Optimization
Physical Sciences > Artificial Intelligence
Uncontrolled Keywords:Artificial Intelligence, Control and Optimization, Computer Science Applications, Mechanical Engineering
Language:English
Date:29 September 2021
Deposited On:01 Feb 2022 12:21
Last Modified:26 Apr 2024 01:40
Publisher:American Association for the Advancement of Science
ISSN:2470-9476
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1126/scirobotics.abf1888
PubMed ID:34550719
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