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The University of Southampton

Research project: Low Cost Support System for Stroke Rehabilitation

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Research Project based on the combination of Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES), Iterative Learning Control (ILC) and an upper limbs support device, for stroke rehabilitation.

  1. Summary. A stroke can be caused by blood clot that blocks a vessel or a haemorrhage that cause the death of some connecting nerve cells. As a result a person who survives a stroke usually suffers upper limbs motor impairment that leads to a reduction or loss of functional that do not allow him to execute simple tasks such as reaching or grasping an object. However, if an impaired patient performs a specific rehabilitation program he can relearn the way to execute the above mentioned task, thanks to the brain’s skills to create new neuron connections if stimulated.
  2. Aim. This project focuses on the study of a low cost robotic device to allow the rehabilitation of upper limbs of impaired patients after stroke, and to increase the probability of success of the therapy.
  3. Objectives. There are different ways to perform the rehabilitation process. This research will be based on the combination of the Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES), the Iterative Learning Control (ILC) and the use of an upper limbs support device. To reach the research goal, a novel support device including its control mechanism will be designed. Since the upper limb dynamics involve nonlinearities, nonlinear systems analysis and design will also be exploited.
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