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Robotic Finger Rehabilitation Support Device for Home Use—An Analysis of the Effect of Finger Rehabilitation for the Upper Limb Function Recovery

Kaori Chiba 1, Akihiro Kakimi 1, Naoyuki Ogura 1, Yuji Ishida 2, Yuta Furudate 3, Kazuki Yamamoto 3, and Sadayoshi Mikami3
1. Department of Rehabilitation, Medical Association Hospital Hakodate, Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan
2. Faculty of Human Science, Hokkaido Bunkyo University, Eniwa, Hokkaido, Japan
3. Department of Systems Information Science, Future University Hakodate, Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan
Abstract—As the number of patients suffering from cerebrovascular disease (CVD) increases, it is desired that the patients will be able to receive proper rehabilitation at home without specialists' help. For this, we have developed a finger-dedicated robotic rehabilitation support device that is compact enough to be used at home. The device induces voluntary muscular contraction at a finger by the help of power assisted finger lifter. The lifter is a simple lever on which the patient places his/her finger. Although the mechanism is simple to be used at home, there is a question whether applying only a finger-dedicated rehabilitation is sufficient to improve the quality of life of a patient including recovery of upper limb functions. To answer this question, we conducted experiments that show skill transfer from finger to elbow. In the experiments, subjects are asked to train to produce a specified force at their fingers. After training, it was shown that the subjects are able to perform the same skill by using elbow, where no training was performed. The results support that the finger-dedicated rehabilitation would be appropriate as a target for a robotic home rehabilitation device.
 
Index Terms—cerebrovascular disease; feel of weight; finger rehabilitation; home device

Cite: Kaori Chiba, Akihiro Kakimi, Naoyuki Ogura, Yuji Ishida, Yuta Furudate, Kazuki Yamamoto, and Sadayoshi Mikami, "Robotic Finger Rehabilitation Support Device for Home Use—An Analysis of the Effect of Finger Rehabilitation for the Upper Limb Function Recovery," International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Research, Vol. 5, No. 4, pp. 288-294, October 2016. DOI: 10.18178/ijmerr.5.4.288-294
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