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April 7, 2011

UK Researchers Develop Stroke Rehabilitation Devices

Researchers at the University of Southampton in the UK have developed devices that could be used to rehabilitate the arms and hands of people who have had a stroke. The three devices — a 'vibration' tactile device, a 'motor-driven squeezer' device and 'shape memory alloy' device &

By cms admin

Researchers at the University of Southampton in the UK have developed devices that could be used to rehabilitate the arms and hands of people who have had a stroke.

The three devices — a ‘vibration’ tactile device, a ‘motor-driven squeezer’ device and ‘shape memory alloy’ device — generate a realistic sense of touch and sensation, mimicking those involved in everyday activities.

The devices were tested on participants who had had a stroke and on healthy participants.

When the vibration tactile device was used, participants felt that it provided a good indication of touch, but did not feel as if they were holding anything.

When motor-driven squeezer device was used, participants felt like they were holding something, a bit like catching a ball.

Participants using the shape memory alloy device, which has thermal properties, reported that it created a sensation like picking up a cup of tea.

Study author Dr Geoff Merrett said this technology can be used on its own as a stand-alone system to help with sensory rehabilitation.

“It also could be used alongside existing health technologies such as rehabilitation robots or gaming technologies that help patient rehabilitation, ” Merrett said.

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