industry news
Subscribe Now

Breakthrough in Tremor Treatment: Robotic Therapy Developed by GIST Researchers Improves Daily Activities

Introducing SPINDLE, a pioneering robotic rehabilitation system to enhance daily living activities for individuals with tremor.
Individuals with neurological disorders often experience tremors, posing various challenges. To address this, researchers from Korea developed SPINDLE, a pioneering robotic rehabilitation system. Combining virtual reality (VR) with customized resistance training, SPINDLE offers personalized therapy to enhance strength and dexterity for activities of daily living (ADLs). Its adaptability and potential for home use represent a major advancement in tremor rehabilitation, with broader healthcare implications.
Tremors, or involuntary rhythmic movements, severely impair an individual’s ability to perform everyday tasks, reducing their quality of life and independence. In neurological rehabilitation, finding effective treatments is a key goal, and tremor rehabilitation is particularly complex.
Addressing this challenge, a team of researchers at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) in Korea, led by professor Jiyeon Kang, developed an innovative robotic rehabilitation system to enhance the strength and dexterity of individuals with tremors.
Their research, published on 23 April, 2024, in IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, introduces the Spherical Parallel INstrument for Daily Living Emulation (SPINDLE).
SPINDLE integrates robotics and virtual reality to enhance the strength and dexterity of individuals with tremors, enabling them to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) more efficiently. Unlike traditional methods, SPINDLE simulates ADLs in a realistic and adaptable environment, bridging the gap in replicating real-world tasks’ complexity. This innovative system promises to transform rehabilitation for tremor patients, offering a new level of support and effectiveness.
In this study, nine healthy participants were trained to use SPINDLE with the aid of VR technology. Following this training phase, the participants were subjected to simulated tremors and asked to perform various ADL tasks, both with the SPINDLE system and with natural objects. The team meticulously compared the performance results from these tasks to evaluate the effectiveness of the SPINDLE system.
The study revealed several significant benefits of using SPINDLE for tremor rehabilitation. SPINDLE demonstrated joint mobility equivalent to natural ADLs, ensuring practical applicability in real-life scenarios. Participants experienced reduced muscle effort and effective tremor suppression, which contributed to smoother and more controlled movements. The system provides customizable optimal damping, allowing for individualized resistance-based training tailored to each participant’s needs. The use of SPINDLE resulted in improved motor control, coordination, and neuroplasticity, key factors in effective neurological rehabilitation. Participants showed notable improvements in upper limb strength and dexterity, critical for performing daily activities.
“A standout feature of the SPINDLE system is its game-based training paradigm, which allows for varying levels of resistance as needed. This approach not only makes the therapy sessions engaging and enjoyable but also significantly aids in improving the strength and dexterity of individuals with tremors,” explains Prof. Kang. By integrating real-time visual feedback and interactive VR elements, SPINDLE ensures sustained user motivation and more effective training outcomes.
SPINDLE has the potential to significantly improve the quality of life for patients with neurological disorders by focusing on complex ADLs that are difficult for other rehabilitation robots. Its compact design allows for easy integration with TV or VR systems, providing an engaging environment to encourage adherence to rehabilitation programs,” adds Prof. Kang.
The promising results from this study indicate that SPINDLE has the potential to become a standard tool in tremor rehabilitation programs. Beyond its immediate applications, the principles and technologies developed through SPINDLE could extend to other areas, such as sports training and injury prevention. Additionally, the data collected from SPINDLE training sessions can provide valuable insights into neuroplasticity and motor learning, paving the way for more effective treatments for a wide range of neurological disorders.
Title of original paper: Resist-as-Needed ADL Training With SPINDLE for Patients With Tremor
Journal: IEEE Transactions On Neural Systems And Rehabilitation Engineering

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Jul 20, 2024
If you are looking for great technology-related reads, here are some offerings that I cannot recommend highly enough....

featured video

How NV5, NVIDIA, and Cadence Collaboration Optimizes Data Center Efficiency, Performance, and Reliability

Sponsored by Cadence Design Systems

Deploying data centers with AI high-density workloads and ensuring they are capable for anticipated power trends requires insight. Creating a digital twin using the Cadence Reality Digital Twin Platform helped plan the deployment of current workloads and future-proof the investment. Learn about the collaboration between NV5, NVIDIA, and Cadence to optimize data center efficiency, performance, and reliability. 

Click here for more information about Cadence Data Center Solutions

featured paper

Navigating design challenges: block/chip design-stage verification

Sponsored by Siemens Digital Industries Software

Explore the future of IC design with the Calibre Shift left initiative. In this paper, author David Abercrombie reveals how Siemens is changing the game for block/chip design-stage verification by moving Calibre verification and reliability analysis solutions further left in the design flow, including directly inside your P&R tool cockpit. Discover how you can reduce traditional long-loop verification iterations, saving time, improving accuracy, and dramatically boosting productivity.

Click here to read more

featured chalk talk

How Capacitive Absolute Encoders Enable Precise Motion Control
Encoders are a great way to provide motion feedback and capture vital rotary motion information. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton and Jeff Smoot from CUI Devices investigate the benefits and drawbacks of different encoder solutions. They also explore the unique system advantages of absolute encoders and how you can get started using a CUI Devices absolute encoder in your next design.
Apr 1, 2024