Autonomous Robots

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 7–20 | Cite as

Rehabilitation Robotics: Performance-Based Progressive Robot-Assisted Therapy

  • H.I. Krebs
  • J.J. Palazzolo
  • L. Dipietro
  • M. Ferraro
  • J. Krol
  • K. Rannekleiv
  • B.T. Volpe
  • N. Hogan


In this paper we describe the novel concept of performance-based progressive robot therapy that uses speed, time, or EMG thresholds to initiate robot assistance. We pioneered the clinical application of robot-assisted therapy focusing on stroke—the largest cause of disability in the US. We have completed several clinical studies involving well over 200 stroke patients. Research to date has shown that repetitive task-specific, goal-directed, robot-assisted therapy is effective in reducing motor impairments in the affected arm after stroke. One research goal is to determine the optimal therapy tailored to each stroke patient that will maximize his/her recovery. A proposed method to achieve this goal is a novel performance-based impedance control algorithm, which is triggered via speed, time, or EMG. While it is too early to determine the effectiveness of the algorithm, therapists have already noted one very strong benefit, a significant reduction in arm tone.

rehabilitation robotics stroke robot-aided neurorehabilitation adaptive algorithm 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • H.I. Krebs
    • 1
    • 2
  • J.J. Palazzolo
    • 1
  • L. Dipietro
    • 3
  • M. Ferraro
    • 4
  • J. Krol
    • 4
  • K. Rannekleiv
    • 4
  • B.T. Volpe
    • 2
  • N. Hogan
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineering, Newman Laboratory for Biomechanics and Human RehabilitationMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Department Neurology and Neuroscience, Burke Medical Research InstituteWeill Medical College of Cornell UniversityWhite PlainsUSA
  3. 3.Scuola Superiore Sant'AnnaPisaItaly
  4. 4.Burke Rehabilitation HospitalWhite PlainsUSA
  5. 5.Department of Brain and Cognitive SciencesMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSA

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