Rehabilitation support robot “R-cloud” makes muscle movement visible
Associate Professor Toshiaki Tsuji’s Laboratory at Saitama University has developed R-cloud, a rehabilitation support robot that enables users to view how their own muscles move during rehabilitation and training.
“This rehabilitation support robot is used for strengthening the arms. Its moving parts use pneumatic muscles, and it provides support with gentle movements so it is very safe. Another distinguishing feature is haptic signal processing, a technique that estimates muscular force during training and makes this information visible. It also has a feature that quantifies and evaluates the effect of training.”
R-cloud calculates subtle muscle movements and quantifies this into data, which enables physical therapists to provide accurate instruction on movement, and patients to confirm their own movements.
“This robot has a force sensor and a sensor to measure the arm angle. Based on data collected from these sensors, calculations are made on the force of muscle contraction within the arm, as well as on the amount of calories consumed by each muscle during training. So the robot is equipped with technology that quantifies the degree of effectiveness of training. In addition, we use augmented reality technology to make these results visible.”
By databasing measurement data collected during training, the Tsuji Lab is constructing a rehabilitation cloud system which will promote efficient rehabilitation.
“We would like to see these robots used for rehabilitation training in hospitals, nursing homes, and private homes after an injury, or for use as a preventive measure prior to injury. “