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---- PROTOTYPE --------- PURPOSE: To create a prototype of a powered knee orthosis for individuals with neuromuscular disabilities, arthritis, or people recovering from surgery or stroke. The device is indicated in the United States for use by rehabilitation centers as a training aid in helping recover a proper walking gait. Software that controls the knee has been rewritten specifically to work for stroke rehab. The system is currently undergoing a 24-patient trial at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Key components of the Tibion Bionic Leg include: a pressure-sensing shoe insert that detects and measures the amount of weight a patient is applying to his/her affected leg; a computer into which the therapist programs the amount of support to be provided to the patient's affected leg during different tasks; two motors within the Bionic Leg to provide that support; and an angle sensor in the knee, which informs the computer what the patient is doing or likely to do. The sensor in the patient’s shoe detects a set amount of force (selected by the therapist) applied by the patient before its motors will be activated. Information from the foot sensor, and an angle sensor in the knee, provide the onboard computer with information on whether the patient is applying force to the heel or ball of the foot, in what proportion, and in what sequence, and, based on algorithms programmed into the unit's computer, it determines what the patient is likely to be trying to do. Since much of gait and stepping is repetitive, the onboard computer can anticipate and assure the Tibion Bionic Leg is ready to provide expected assistance. Before the patient uses the device, the therapist asks the patient to stand, sit down and take steps. This adds information from sensors in the knee region to those transmitted from the foot, essentially customizing its sensor network to the patient’s way of walking. When the patient puts no weight on the foot pressure sensor, a low-torque/high-speed motor within the Bionic Leg allows free-swinging operation, tracking the patient’s motions without impeding them. As soon as the patient applies pressure to the foot pressure sensor, and the knee angle decreases (knee extends, as when rising from a chair or climbing stairs), a high-torque/low-speed motor within the Tibion Bionic Leg provides lifting assistance (extending the knee), based on the degree of assistance dialed in by the therapist. Conversely, when the patient applies weight to the foot pressure sensors and knee angle increases (as when sitting down or descending stairs), the high-torque motor provides braking assistance (resisting gravity while allowing knee to flex), based on the dialed-in degree of resistance. TITLE: Tibion Bionic Leg for Active Robotic Stroke Rehabilitation. WEBSITE: medGadget. REF: http://www.medgadget.com/archives/2011/04/tibion_bionic_leg_for_active_r....
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