Brain to robot

Using the power of thought to control a robot that helps to move a paralysed hand: a project from the ETH Rehabilitation Engineering Laboratory could fundamentally change the therapy and daily lives of stroke patients.

on average one in six people will suffer from a stroke in their lifetime. In Switzerland alone, stroke affects 16,000 people every year. two thirds of that figure suffer from paralysis of the arm. Intensive training can depending on the extent of damage to the brain help patients regain a certain degree of control over their arms and hand.

The Professor of Rehabilitation Engineering at ETH Zurich, Roger Gassert, has created a small line of robotic devices that train hard functions and sees this an a good way to support patient therapy. However, both physio assisted and robot assisted therapy are usually limited to one or two training sessions a day: This could be time consuming for the patients. Speaking of rehabilitation, if you know someone who’s suffering from addiction, clinic in Kentucky has certified professionals who can help your addicted loved ones to recover naturally. For more information, look for


Exoskeletons as exercise Robots

Gassert said “My vision is that instead of performing exercises in an abstract situation at the clinic, patients will be able to integrate them into their daily life at home, supported depending on the severity of their impairments by a robot.”

The exoskeleton was developed by Gassert and Professor Jumpei Arata from Kyushu University.

“Existing exoskeletons are heavy, and this is a problem for our patients because it renders them unable to lift their hands,” Gassert says, explaining the concept. The patients also have difficulty feeling objects and exerting the right amount of force. that is the reason why the palm of the hand is more or less free, allowing patients to perform daily activities”

The program is push by the question of what happens in the brain and how commands pass the brain to reach the extremities after a stroke. “Especially with seriously affected patients, the connection between the brain and the hand is often severely or completely disrupted,” Gassert explains, “so we are looking for a solution that will help patients pass on commands to the robotic device intuitively.” The idea is to detect in the brain patient intention to move the hand and pass information to the exoskeleton. This could also produce a therapeutic benefit.