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Fall 2010 GRASP Seminar – Marcia O’Malley, Rice University, “On the Design and Use of Therapeutic Robots: Ensuring Clinical Relevance”

November 5, 2010 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Abstract: Our lab has been designing and building exoskeleton-based
therapeutic robots for stroke and spinal cord injury rehabilitation, and
testing these devices, along with modified commercial devices, in the clinical
domain for the past five years. In this talk, I will present an overview of our
efforts to date. I will highlight the design and implementation of the
RiceWrist device for upper extremity rehabilitation. Then, I will discuss
robotic measures of motor impairment and how these measures can be used to
ensure clinical relevance of robotic rehabilitation systems. Specifically, we
analyze the correlations between four clinical measures (Fugl-Meyer upper
extremity scale, Motor Activity Log, Action Research Arm Test and Jebsen-Taylor
Hand Function Test) and four robotic measures (smoothness of movement,
trajectory error, average number of target hits per minute and mean tangential
speed), used to assess motor recovery. Data were gathered as part of a hybrid robotic
and traditional upper extremity rehabilitation program for nine stroke
patients. Smoothness of movement and trajectory error, temporally and spatially
normalized measures of movement quality defined for point-to-point movements,
were found to have significant moderate to strong correlations with all four of
the clinical measures. The strong correlations suggest that smoothness of
movement and trajectory error may be used to compare outcomes of different
rehabilitation protocols and devices effectively, provide improved resolution
for tracking patient progress compared to only pre- and post-treatment
measurements, enable accurate adaptation of therapy based on patient progress,
and deliver immediate and useful feedback to the patient and therapist.


- Learn More

Marcia O’Malley is
an Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
Department at Rice
University, and is a
co-founder of Houston Medical Robotics. She holds a joint appointment in
Computer Science at Rice, and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Physical
Medicine and Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine. At Rice, her research
interests focus on the issues that arise when humans physically interact with
robotic systems. One thrust of her lab is the design of haptic feedback and
shared control between robotic devices and their human users for training and
rehabilitation in virtual environments. Psychophysical studies provide insight
into the effect of haptic cues on human motor adaptation, skill acquisition,
and the restoration of motor coordination. Another area of interest is nanorobotic
manipulation with haptic feedback, and the use of vision-based sensing for
control of robotic manipulators and the generation of force feedback to the
operator. She has also explored the use of haptic devices for teaching the
fundamentals of dynamic systems and control in the mechanical engineering
curriculum. In 2008, she received the George R. Brown Award for Superior
Teaching at Rice University. O’Malley is a 2004
Office of Naval Research Young Investigator and the recipient of the NSF CAREER
Award in 2005. Additionally, she is chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on
Haptics. She serves as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Haptics
and the ASME/IEEE Transactions on Mechatronics.


November 5, 2010
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category: