Social Human-Robot Interaction for Gait Rehabilitation

Social Human-Robot Interaction for Gait Rehabilitation 842 452 Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering (TNSRE)

Robot-assisted therapy for gait rehabilitation of patients with neurological disorders usually combines a body weight support system with a treadmill system. Lokomat is one of the most used devices for gait rehabilitation. This device allows therapists to focus on the patient and the therapy. However, this therapy session is based on multi-tasking processes, which are often difficult for a therapist to manage. In this work, a Socially Assistive Robot (SAR) was integrated into a neurorehabilitation program as a collaborator agent to promote patient engagement and performance during the therapy. This short-term study presents the effects comparing the social robot condition and control condition with a group of four neurological patients using repeated measurement design. As a remarkable result, patients improved thoracic 18.44% and cervical 32.23% posture on average with SAR assistance. This study demonstrated the feasibility of the integration of a social robot as a complement of gait rehabilitation programs.