A New Algorithm That Assists Neurological Disorder Patients to Stride Naturally
Owing to an injury or neurological disorders, millions of individuals are rendered with limbs that cannot be moved. But now, a research team has come up with an array of hope by developing an algorithm combined with robot-assisted rehabilitation. This can assist the patients to walk naturally, who had a spinal cord injury (SCI) or a stroke.However, apart from SCI, stroke, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and an array of other neurological disorders can also cause paralysis. Indeed, the latest survey assessed that in the United States,around 5.4 Million individuals are living with paralysis; stroke being the foremost reason of this disability.
Now, a research team from the NCCR Robotics at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and at the Lausanne University Hospital in Switzerland has developed a revolutionary technology that might assist these patients to recuperate their locomotor abilities.The team has developed an algorithm that aids a robotic harness to enable the patients’ movements, thus permitting them to move naturally. The existing rehabilitation technologies for individuals with motor disabilities owing to stroke or SCI comprise walking on a treadmill, with an apparatus supporting the upper torso. However, these technologies either restrict the patient to naturally move in all directions or are too rigid.
The scientists explain that the problem of locomotor rehabilitation exists in assisting the nervous system to “revise” the correct movements. This is challenging owing to the muscle mass loss in the patients and the neurological network that has “elapsed” accurate posture. With an intention to overcome this barrier and stimulate natural striding, Mignardot and team developed an algorithm that synchronizes with a robotic rehabilitation harness. The algorithm was validated by the team in above 30 patients. The locomotor abilities of the patients were evidently and instantaneously enhanced with the “smart walk assist.”
Moreover, after just 1 Hour of coaching with the algorithm and harness, the “unsupported walking skill” of 5 of the patients enhanced significantly. The team designed the so-called gravity-assist algorithm after cautiously observing the patients’ movements and accounting parameters such as length of stride, muscle activity, and leg movement. The researchers explained that on the basis of these calculations, the algorithm recognizes the forces that should be exertedon the body’supper half so as to enable natural walking.
The smart walk assist is aground-breaking body-weight support system as it copes to repel the force of gravity and drive the patient forth and back, to the right&to the left, or in more of these directions at once, which restores a natural walk and motion that the patients require in their everyday lives.