Rehabibotics: Using Humanoid Robots to Convey Rehabilitation Therapies to Disabled People

Rehabibotics: Using Humanoid Robots to Convey Rehabilitation Therapies to Disabled People

 

Rehabibotics is a project conducted by Instituto de Robótica para la Dependecia that aims to develop a sistem capable of creating rehabilitation therapies for disabled individuals, through games, dances or other psychomotor activities that makes use of humanoid robots. It is proved that the use of humanoid robots in psychomotor therapies helps to ensure their effectiveness. However, using this kind of robots is still very difficult for non-specialised people. The main objective of this research project is to implement a new system that could allow the automatic generation of thses terapheutic routines to the assisting personeel and also to objectivelly measure its application and effectiveness. In fact, the project consists in three objectives:

1.- Elaborate an automatic system able to create therapies, either cognitives and/or motor, through, for example, capturing the motion of different humans and reproducing them in humanoids robots.

2.- Analyse the emotions the patients show during their interactuation with the robots or with other therapeutic games they could be playing with in order to determine the grade of acceptance and performance of the therapies, all analysed in a controlled, assisted environment.

3.- Analyse te evolution of the patients in whom the therapies with robots are applied in order to objectivelly determine their effectiveness.

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From a scientific and technological poi t of view,  the more specific objectives to reach are:

(a) Visually capture a person’s behaviour using RGB-D cameras (like Microsoft Kinect http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/kinectforwindows/).
(b) Obtention of human activity models and development of effective methods to learn from these models
(c) Translation of human activity moiels to a robotic architecture (for example to the humanoid robot Nao d’Aldebaran Robotics http://www.aldebaran.com/en).
(d) Interpretation of the visual information to later interpretate the expressions form the patients, with spetial intrest on the facialnexpressions, but also in other corporal movements.
(e) Interactuation on the robot’s behaviour based on the analysis of the emotions the patients show during the therapies
(f) Development of measuring methodologies for the effectiveness of the therapies on disabled patients in order to evaluate the impact of the robotic therapy.
This research, in which our member Jainendra Shukla is working at, is performed in collaboration of other different entities and conducted by the Institut Català de la Robòtica per a la Discapacitat (http://www.institutcatalarobotica.org/). The Intelligent Robotics and Computer Vision group will perform the research and also several experimental test in different scnenarios and patients.

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Game-abling: Platform of Games for People with Cerebral Palsy to Enhance Living Adjusment

Research Project FP7-SME-2012, Grant agreement no: 315032 (2012-2014)

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is one of the most frequently conditions in childhood, with an itcidence of 2 per 1,000 live births. In the EU there is 1.3 out of 15 million persons with CP in the world. This neurological disorder affects body movement, balance and posture and almost always is accompanied by other cognitive or sensory impairments like mental retardation, deafness and vision problems. The severity of these problems varies widely, from very mild and subtle to very profound.

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These disabilities lead to an inactive lifestyle which reduces the patient’s physical health, social participation, and quality of life. Therapy costs can be up to €45,000 by year, a cost that cannot be afforded by most of the families. Playing Video games is a useful treatment that promotes and maintains more active and healthful lifestyle in these persons. This in turn contributes to reduce medical and social care cost and improve well-being of their families. However accessibility to videogames is hardly applied for them.

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GAME-ABLING is to create a software tool for creating interactive video games in an innuitive manner in such a way that non-expert personnel (e.g. parents) can develop customized games. Games will be controlled using body movements and voice. To this end, Computer Vision and image processing techniques will be developed to improve accessibility.

GAME-ABLING will create a web portal to make up a disabled gaming e-community in where users will have access to use the software tool, play games and upload own creations to share it. SMEs envisage GAME-ABLING exploitation following a subscription business model to have full access to the web portal. GAME-ABLING represents a business opportunity for the SMEs, who expect to reach 0.5% world market penetration and an accumulated income of €9.9 million in 5 years. In addition, GAME-ABLING will contribute to reduce medical and social care costs in the EU by at least 0.5% which supposes additional annual savings of €200 million.

Click here to visit the official website.

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