A System for Attachment/Detachment of a Robot to the Human Body
Stroke is a leading cause of long term disability in the United States; there are about 700,000 new or recurrent attacks each year1. After stroke, gait patterns are typically asymmetrical, slow, and inefficient. Recovery of a healthy gait is critical for restoring quality of life. Robotic gait rehabilitation is potentially a cheaper and potentially more effective alternative to therapist-guided rehabilitation. Instead of using supervised learning, we propose to develop and test a new approach to robotic gait rehabilitation called robotic reinforcement, which is based on principles of reinforcement learning.The central hypothesis is tested with a novel robotic reinforcement paradigm. The proposed invention will allow a robotic arm to be attached various points on the human body. This will permit a single robotic arm to be used for a variety of rehabilitation functions; including tasks performed using the upper- and lower-extremity. The invention consists of a garment that is worn by a patient, which contains attachment sites for a specially designed coupling. The coupling allows the robot to attach to the garment. Rare-earth magnets and a ball joint are used for the connection.