Tactile Proprioceptive Input in Robotic Rehabilitation after Stroke
Format of Original
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Proceedings of the 2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
Original Item ID
Stroke can lead to loss or impairment of somatosensory sensation (i.e. proprioception), that reduces functional control of limb movements. Here we examine the possibility of providing artificial feedback to make up for lost sensory information following stroke. However, it is not clear whether this kind of sensory substitution is even possible due to stroke-related loss of central processing pathways that subserve somatosensation. In this paper we address this issue in a small cohort of stroke survivors using a tracking task that emulates many activities of daily living. Artificial proprioceptive information was provided to the subjects in the form of vibrotactile cues. The goal was to assist participants in guiding their arm towards a moving target on the screen. Our experiment indicates reliable tracking accuracy under the effect of vibrotactile proprioceptive feedback, even in subjects with impaired natural proprioception. This result is promising and can create new directions in rehabilitation robotics with augmented somatosensory feedback.