Activity Assistive Robotics from the View Point of Rehabilitation Medicine
Keynote Lecture 2.0
10/6/19 | 10:45 AM – 11:30 AM time
Fujita Health University
Prof. Eiichi Saitoh
In the very near future, robotics is poised to become one of the most helpful tools for disabled people in four domains: They will assist exercise, independence, care givers, and emotional and cognitive activities. We have been engaged in developing assistive robots for 15 years. This presentation will describe our experience in the development of the following robots:
# WPAL (Wearable Power Assist Locomotor): To assist paraplegic people in walking, we developed the Wearable Power Assist Locomotor (WPAL) in collaboration with Aska Co. (Aichi, Japan) since 2005. WPAL incorporates a medial hip joint system composed of medially placed bilateral hip-knee-ankle motor joints without a pelvic component. To date, we have used WPAL with more than 20 patients with spinal cord injury (SCI, including cervical-SCI). Patients were able to don/doff the device by themselves, stand up from / sit down in their wheelchair, keep standing without arm support, and walk around on a flat floor. These results were observed even in patients who could not perform these activities with orthoses.
# Welwalk (Gait Exercise Assist Robot): We developed a Gait Exercise Assist Robot (Welwalk) in collaboration with the Toyota Motor Corporation (Aichi, Japan). Welwalk is for gait exercise in hemiplegia. Use of the robot will be discussed in the context of motor learning.
# STAR (Side Transfer Assist Robot): For elderly care in the community, we propose a Robotic Smart Home (RSH) that consists of a smart home and care assist robots. In the RSH setting, the STAR plays an important role in assisting transfers. STAR consists of an omnidirectional wheel for moving around and a height-adjustable mechanism incorporating a seat, arm rest, and foot rest for lateral transfers. It provides safe and easy lateral transfers even in small spaces such as a standard size toilet within a typical home.