The upper limb paresis is a frequent sequel of brain damage (e.g., after stroke). Hemiparesis is one of the most important predictors of long-term disability. Upper-limb rehabilitation systems have been designed for restoring the upper limb functions in individuals with disabilities resulting from spinal cord injury (SCI), stroke and muscle dystrophy. These systems are based either on functional electrical stimulation (FES) or rehabilitation robots and haptic interfaces.
Expected results: The EXOSLIM project aims to design and build a lightweight hybrid FES-exoskeleton system to rehabilitate the upper limb in disabled people.
The novelty of the proposed upper limb rehabilitation system consists in its balanced control among FES muscle activation and the lightweight exoskeleton itself creating the premises for a better recovery of the upper-limb functions. Much more, the system might be useful for ambulatory exercises therefore reducing the burden over the health care system.
1. Technological objectives
1.1 Development of a software model for a hybrid FES-based muscles contraction and exoskeleton system for the upper limb EXOSLIM™.
1.2 Realisation of an EXOSLIM™ system including appropriate actuation system and sensors. Intensive laboratory tests have to be performed.
1.3 Elaboration of the methods to evaluate the cortical projection of the impaired upper limb and the rehabilitative assessment parameters.
1.4 Iterative improvement of the EXOSLIM™ system.
1.5 Full compatibility of the EXOSLIM™ system with existing PDA standard software and hardware systems and hospital information systems.
2.1 Providing the EXOSLIM™ system as a medical device that minimize arm impairment burden to the hemiparetic patient (individual benefit on quality of life) and to healthcare systems (societal benefit) by increased patient empowerment in health management through the use of EXOSLIM.
3.Exploitation and use objectives:
3.1Preparing requirement specifications for the EXOSLIM™ system for future product development.
3.2 Preparing an exploitation / Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) strategy for the industrial partners.
3.3 Prepare project presentations (website, brochures) and scientific papers.
3.4 Perform training courses.