TitleThe Road Forward for Upper Extremity Rehabilitation Robotics
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsRose, CG, Deshpande, AD, Carducci, J, D.Brown, J
JournalCurrent Opinion in Biomedical Engineering
ISSNISSN 2468-4511

Despite concerted efforts over the last three decades, upper-extremity robotic rehabilitation has yet to reach its full potential. We assert that assuming the goal of robotic rehabilitation is to automate conventional therapy may have led to overly narrow research directions and to mixed results from clinical studies. Recontextualizing this assumption opens promising research avenues for roboticists. Breaking the robotic device design loop and instead seeking out ‘big data’ opportunities has the potential to identify promising robot-mediated interventions. This will require a shift in roboticists’ attitudes towards participating in neuroscience and clinical research. By expanding assessment beyond kinematics, robotic devices can provide clinicians with a more complete picture of impairment and recovery. We discuss the current assumptions in greater detail, and point towards promising research in these revised directions.

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