Spatially Distributed Tactile Feedback For Stroke Rehabilitation

Spatially Distributed Tactile Feedback for Stroke Rehabilitation

Faculty: Katherine J. Kuchenbecker

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More than 780,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year, and approximately 80% of these individuals survive and require rehabilitation to regain motor functionality, though the optimal treatment method is not yet known. This project aims to create a new low-cost rehabilitation system that measures the user's arm movements in real time and uses a combination of graphical and tactile feedback to guide him or her through a set of motions chosen by the therapist. He or she views the posture or motion to master on a screen and attempts to move his or her body to match. The movements of all the body segments are tracked through a motion capture system, displayed on the screen, and compared with the target body configuration in real time. When he or she deviates more than a small amount from this target, tactors on the associated limb segment provide feedback, helping the user know how to translate or rotate that part of his or her body toward the correct configuration.