Robotics and gaming technology are rapidly becoming valuable tools in rehabilitation. These technologies allow for precise, measured, and varied repetition that can be adjusted for each person’s individualized care.
At the same time, gaming can make the repetition interesting by incorporating basic motions into a game format to maintain engagement while maximizing progress.
Robotics and gaming technology available to patients of the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute include the following:
The AlterG utilizes NASA unweighting technology to reduce the impact of walking or running to ease function and aerobic exercise during recovery.
The AlterG is a treadmill with a large inflatable enclosure that fills with air and uses differential air pressure technology to unweight the user. A specific pair of shorts helps to create an airtight environment from the waist down. Three cameras placed around the treadmill allow for real time feedback of gait deviations, foot clearance, and step length.
The AlterG helps to improve motor control, strength, endurance, and gait patterns.
Patients who need strengthening and gait training following an illness or surgery; patients with a neurological condition or injury, and those requiring aerobic conditioning or weight control/reduction.
The Andago enables upright, hands-free walking that bridges the gap between treadmill-based gait training and free walking.
The mobile robot is comprised of two electronically driven wheels and four casters that allow the device to move forward, backward, and make turns. A harness provides fall protection and ensures safe, confident training for the patient. The intuitive nature of the device enables it to move and turn according to the demands of the patient.
The Andago helps rehab patients move from assisted gait therapy to unsupported walking sooner than traditional therapy would allow.
Benefits stroke and brain injury patients who are learning to walk again.
The Armeo partially compensates for the weight of your arm, allowing you to use your remaining strength to perform exercises. The Rehabilitation Institute uses Armeo’s original device, the Armeo®Spring, and was the first facility in the U.S. to receive the new Armeo®Boom.
Insert your arms into the device to move in all directions while:
The Armeo provides fun and motivating therapeutic exercise while “reminding” your brain how to control arm function.
Benefits stroke patients who have limited use of one arm, or people with spinal cord and brain injuries.
Using a portable touch screen, you play visual games that record and track your progress over time.
BITS offers several customizable, touch screen therapy programs designed to enhance outcomes for physical and occupational therapy patients and keep them engaged as they work toward their rehabilitation goals.
BITS helps increase movement in your arms while improving your hand-eye coordination, visual-vestibular integration problems, problem solving capabilities, cognitive challenges, and more.
Benefits individuals with disabilities resulting from traumatic injuries and movement disorders. BITS can also improve performance in competitive athletes.
The Dynavision D2 is a board with 64 3D light up targets arranged in five rings to challenge balance, agility, and reaction time, with the ability for progress to be tracked over time.
The Dynavision D2 is a 4x4’ square that is height adjustable. It offers multiple modes to adjust target’s location, color, duration, and frequency. The LED screen located at eye level can be used to flash numbers, letters, words, and math problems along with the lights, to further increase the challenge.
This activity challenges vision, reaction time, balance, arm range of motion, and multi-tasking skills. It can be performed while seated or standing, and in conjunction with varied surfaces to create a balance challenge.
Originally developed for hockey goalies, the Dynavision D2 can help patients with neurological and orthopaedic conditions to improve:
The ErigoPro is a robotic tilt table that manually mobilizes you while electrical stimulation increases blood flow and muscle strength.
By adhering electrodes to the skin, nerve endings are stimulated with electricity while cyclical movement training supports the recovery of leg muscle function.
The ErigoPro increases your tolerance to an upright or standing position and improves mobilization.
Benefits people with circulatory, neurological, or musculoskeletal conditions. The ErigoPro is also used to:
Invented at the University of Pittsburgh, the GameCycle combines a stationary hand cycle with a commercial video game, allowing you to get exercise while playing Nintendo GameCube®.
Using both hands, you cycle forward or backward in a rowing motion to move the game character on the monitor. You control the speed and direction of your character by how fast and in what direction you “row.”
The GameCycle provides:
Benefits people who have limited use of one or both legs due to:
The MusicGlove is a rehabilitation tool designed to help you regain lost hand function through the use of a glove with sensors and a musical video game.
Worn on one hand, the MusicGlove has sensors on each finger that record your movements and track your progress. A game is displayed on a monitor and you are encouraged to follow prompts on the screen by tapping your gloved fingers.
This device provides a fun and engaging way to improve your dexterity and hand movement speed through the use of music and video games.
Benefits people who have limited use of their hands or fingers due to:
In an inpatient therapy setting, we use the Wii both as a leisure-time activity and as part of a patient’s individual rehab routines.
You play various sports and recreational Wii games while:
Therapists can adapt your gaming experience to provide:
Because of the variety and flexibility of the games, Wii benefits most people undergoing rehabilitation.
Check out the blog post Music Glove for Hand Therapy on UPMC HealthBeat to learn even more about our rehab technology.