Credit: CYBERDYNE Inc.

Japan to field test rehabilitation robots

February 12, 2013 by Bob Yirka

(Phys.org)—Ten hospitals in Japan are set to begin testing the use of a robot known as “Robot Suit HAL” starting next month. The purpose of the test will be to determine whether use of the robot is beneficial to patients needing physical therapy to regain normal use of their legs.

When people experience nerve or muscle damage to their lower backs or legs due to illness, stroke or injury, the normal course of treatment involves undergoing physical therapy. Doing so causes the body to slowly repair the damage that has been done. In order for it to work however, the parts of the body that work properly have to coax the parts that do not into action, a laborious and quite often painful process. For this reason, professional physical therapists assist patients with the process to ensure that all of the body parts are exercised and to offer emotional support. But such experts can only help so much, and for that reason, robots have been developed to help. The thinking is that because they are sensor based and lack emotional involvement in the process, robots are likely to do a better job.

Read more: Japan to field test rehabilitation robots — phys.org.

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