Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Method for Targeted Limb Rehabilitation with Multi-Limb Exercise Machines

Technology #4855

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Researchers
Arthur Kuo
Managed By
Kristen Wolff
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending

Targeted Limb Rehabilitation Machine

University of Michigan Researchers in the Mechanical Engineering Department have developed a technology that allows for the targeted rehabilitation of a set of muscles. The technology is a multi-limb exercise machine which allows a user to utilize both their weak and healthy muscles in a natural motion, while providing feedback to ensure that the user does not rely primarily on the healthy muscles. The feedback is a novel method of continually modifying the device to induce the user to naturally adjust to using the correct muscle groups. The device will replace the costly and time consuming coaching of a therapist. Additionally, the device can be used to correct the exercise behavior of healthy users, as well as integrate with other feedback methods. Tests have verified the ability of the device to target muscle usage of the user through the feedback method.

Rehabilitation Exercise Machines

Exercise machines are often used for rehabilitation therapy in order to work a patient’s muscles. The exercises may either directly target affected muscles, or they may perform more natural motions utilizing both healthy an affected muscles. The challenge is that the targeted approach does not allow the patient to rehabilitate using the motions that they will later need, thus providing an inferior rehabilitation. For devices that perform natural motions, the challenge lies in getting patients to use their affected muscles, instead of relying primarily on their healthy ones. This incorrect muscle usage requires the attention of a therapist to constantly coach the patient, which is costly and time consuming.

Applications and Advantages

Applications

  • Muscle rehabilitation
  • Adaptive exercise machines

Advantages

  • Allows for natural motion
  • Ensures usage of affected muscles
  • Reduces need for therapists