Every day, about 10,000 people turn 65 in the USA. Neurological diseases such as stroke or Parkinson will become more common diseases, unfortunately leading to autonomy losses, hence healthcare system costs` increase. It is a serious subject to handle for our ageing societies in order to find new cheaper, faster and better ways to rehabilitate.
October 1st, 2015 - Rennes (France) - Every day, about 10,000 people turn 65 in the USA. Neurological diseases such as stroke or Parkinson will become more common diseases, unfortunately leading to autonomy losses, hence healthcare system costs` increase. It is a serious subject to handle for our ageing societies in order to find new cheaper, faster and better ways to rehabilitate. Robotics is a promising solution.
The ROBO-K is a robotic gait training device that makes the patient walks safely and autonomously. By helping the patient to physically walk around, the robot helps the physiotherapist to focus on the patient’s care and motivation. The physiotherapist chooses on different modes how the device helps him to implement the rehabilitation protocol. He can choose to be only present to motivate the patient, or on the contrary to be more active and control the trajectory, provided with the appropriate feedback. In any case, the physiotherapist stays in charge of the rehabilitation process, the robotic device being a help for what is difficult to do, tiring and repetitive (preventing the patient from falling for example).
In the course of last September, the two Robo-K demonstrators have left the premises of BA Healthcare for the Functional Rehabilitation Services of the University Hospital of Rennes for the first one and of Kerpape for the other one.
After three years of work, this delivery marks the beginning of a new phase for the ROBO-K team: clinical trials and acceptability studies. Over a period of five months, this phase led by the CRPCC LAUREPS (psycho-sociology laboratory of Rennes 2) will study how the device fits into the therapeutic process, how practitioners and patients have the new machine in hands… and how it improves their condition.
Both machines made strong impressions on their arrival, arousing curiosity. The first stage consisted in mapping the service, which will enable practitioners to program tracks on which the patient will work by his own. The robot did well, sneaking between the chairs in the corridors. Its holonomic trajectories allow it to pass by the tiniest spaces with much ease and make everybody forgot its large size.
The entire BA Healthcare team waits with much enthusiasm for the first feedbacks of the patients and practitioners.
Brief overview of ROBO-K project
ROBO-K is a 3-year collaborative project, funded under the FUI13 and whose objective is to design, build and test a mobile robot for gait rehabilitation. Bringing together BA Systèmes, CEA List, the University Hospital of Rennes, the CRPPC/LAUREPS, the CMRRF of Kerpape and MOVEA, this applied research project is intended for patients suffering of walking deficiency from neurological origins (stroke, MS, Parkinson, etc.).
The ROBO-K project is based on the collaboration between user and technical centers organized around a socio-psychological approach to apprehend the issue of robotic rehabilitation under the specific angle of use. The objective of this approach is to think the device as a tool to be implemented into the rehabilitation process and not just as a new technical object to master. The two realized demonstrators which start an evaluation phase led by the medical partners will enable to validate the relevance of the ROBO-K project´s assumptions.
The partners involved in the Robo-K project: