Robotics, Orthotics and related technology

The neuro-rehabilitation procedures now in use vary in rationale and strategy, with no evidence of differences in their therapeutic efficacy. Interacting robots and humans compensate reciprocally for their intrinsic limitations while benefitting from peculiar advantages. Reliability in the execution of repetitive tasks is high. In contrast, robots lack the flexibility and adaptation, code-independent communication, high-level information processing, and detection of and responsiveness to weak and otherwise undetected significant sensory inputs that characterize humans.

Orthotics plays an important role in the rehabilitation of patients with motor impairments. In the advancement of prosthetic systems, one feels that distributed sensory architectures are research areas of critical importance.

 

The field of robotics for neuro-rehabilitation has developed in parallel with robots for industrial use, with greater focus on the treatment of the paretic upper limb after stroke. Electromechanical systems, known as mechatronic systems, result from the evolution of robotics and are peculiarly suited for application in neuro-rehabilitation.

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