Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Device for the ankle neuro-rehabilitation

Ankle rehabilitationNeuromuscular rehabilitationRotation centreSpherical kinematicTechShareDay-d2w1Three rotational degrees

Introduction

The invention relates to neuromuscular rehabilitation of the ankle and claims a device and a method ensuring foot movement motions highly compatible with physiological movements of the ankle musculoskeletal apparatus. To achieve this aim a fully-parallel three-degrees-of-freedom spherical kinematic architecture has been exploited and configured to guarantee that the rotation centre of the platform is nearby the ankle articulation. Additional feedback signals, as electromyography, can be integrated.

Technical features

Devices for the rehabilitation of the foot with more than one degree of freedom are typically characterized by the centre of rotation of the platform which is not configured nearby the actual centre of rotation of the ankle; it leads compensatory and undesired motions by the patients, reducing the overall therapy effectiveness. Our solution has been conceived to guarantee that the centre of rotation is placed at the centre of the ankle articulation. It comprises a mobile platform supporting the foot connected to the ground by means of a spherical parallel kinematic mechanism, with three rotational degrees of freedom, allowing only rotations of the platform, with respect to the supporting base, around axes intersecting in a single point nearby the actual centre of rotation of the foot. Clinical trials with our prototype, involving impaired people, are ongoing.

 

Possible Applications

  • Neuromuscular rehabilitation of foot movements.

Advantages

  • Compatibility with the ankle natural mobility;
  • Active, passive and assisted rehabilitation therapies;
  • Force-based and EMG-based control;
  • Real-time monitoring and logging;
  • Compact design.