Category: Exoskeletal Orthosis

Robotic Corbys Platform Orthosis

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-- PROTOTYPE --------- PURPOSE: To create a prototype of a powered orthosis designed to move a stroke patient's legs in response to feedback from the brain. Stroke treatment often includes therapists retraining a person's body by repeatedly lifting his or her legs, guiding them through a proper walking pattern. The European Union funded the CORBYS project, which aims to make such therapy easier by developing a powered orthosis to move the stroke patient's legs in response to feedback from the brain. Still in development, the robotic CORBYS device consists of a wheeled frame that is open at the front. The user stands in the middle of the frame, and he or she is connected in several sensor array that are processed by unit in the rear of the frame. The CORBYS has a network of EEG sensors in a cap that fits over the user's head and senses brain waves. It also has an ECG sensore on a strap that is fastened around the chest to track heart rate and respiration as well as a network of EMG sensors on the user's legs that track muscle activity. The CORBYS also connects an exoskeleton from the rear unit that a extends from the user's waist down the full length of both legs. The waist attachment allows the user to pivot while walking. During the first phase of treatment patients have sensors placed on key points of their body and then walk on a treadmill. After observing the user's stroke-altered gait, the therapist manually guides the legs through a corrected walking pattern. Feedback from the sensors is used to create a computer model of that target gait. The computer model is uploaded into the CORBYS platform, which is used to power the orthosis guiding the patient through the proper movements, once they are connected. The individual is free to walk around as the platform moves, turns, starts and stops along with them, correcting the gait at the same time. As with other therapeutic exoskeletons, it will not force the patient , but instead responds to self-initiated movements. The platform incorporates several, including an EEG (electroencephalography) cap. Using its physiological sensors, the CORBYS tracks parameters such as heart rate, body temperature, muscle activity, and stress levels to determine how the user is responding to the treatment. For example, if an individual were getting particularly stressed at having to move one leg in a certain direction the platform will temporarily ease up on that aspect of the training. As treatment progresses and individual's gait improves, the therapist can set the platform to more advanced modes. Eleven research institutes in six countries are involved in the project, which is headed by Germany’s University of Bremen. The platform is expected to completed within a year, at which point human trials in Germany and Slovenia will begin. Similar systems already in use include the Lokomat and the Walkbot. AUTHOR: Ben Coxworth. TITLE: Robotic CORBYS platform uses patient feedback to help stroke victims walk again. WEBSITE: Gizmag. REF:


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Robotic Corbys Platform Orthosis