May I lend you a robotic hand?

At the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore robotic engineers are as much in demand as physical therapists. Part of the reason is their physical therapy program developed to help stroke victims relearn how to use their limbs. It starts with a simple computer game played with the “H-man” to sharpen the movement skills and then moves on into individually tailored effort.

Associate Professor Dominico Campolo said that they want to bring these robots to homes and community centres, where you can have multiple stations for patients to play, literally, with other patients or therapists. Basically, you can monitor the patients from the hospital. They are trying to decentralise healthcare.

As per Campolo the “H-man” is a more financially viable option compared to the robots that are already in use in physical therapy units with some hospitals. These robots cost about S$200,000, while the “H-man” costs 20 to 25 per cent of that price making is far more affordable.

The H-man has a had fairly successful trials and is only likely to improve as the researchers continue to fine tune the process. This is one science project which can really change the lives of stroke victims in a positive manner.


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