CPWalker: Robotic Platform for Gait Rehabilitation and Training in Patients with Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a disorder of posture and movement due to a defect or lesion in the immature brain. CP is often associated to sensory deficits, cognition impairments, communication and motor disabilities, behaviour issues, seizure disorder, pain and secondary musculoskeletal problems. New strategies are needed to help to promote, maintain, and rehabilitate the functional capacity, and thereby diminish the dedication and assistance required and the economical demands that this condition represents for the patient, the caregivers and the society.
The main objective of CPWalker is to develop and validate a robotic platform to support novel therapies for CP rehabilitation. This platform (Smart Walker + exoskeleton + neuroprosthesis) will be controlled by a multimodal interface to establish the interaction of CP infants with robot-based therapies. The objective of these therapies is to improve the physical skills of infants with CP and similar disorders. CPWalker concept will promote the earlier incorporation of CP patients to the rehabilitation therapy and increase the level of intensity and frequency of the exercises, which will enable the maintenance of therapeutic methods in daily basis, lead to significant improvements in the treatment outcome.
To achieve this goal, the following objetives are identified:
- O1. To develop the robotic platform that will support new therapies for CP infants rehabilitation.
- O2. To develop a multimodal interface that will enable the patient to drive the therapy, allowing both PNS and CNS to be integrated in a sound physical rehabilitation therapy.
- O3. To develop novel rehabilitation therapies based on the robotic platform that will reduce the rehabilitation period. In particular afer SEMLS surgery.
- O4. To provide a means for objective evaluation of the robotic-based rehabilitation therapy based on evaluation of the gait kinematic patterns, functional assesment and synergies generated with the therapy.
- O5. To compare infants treated with traditional therapies with the ones treated with the therapies developed in CPWalker. This comparison will be based on the metrics described in the previous bullet and will enable the generation of new knowledge on CP treatment.
- O6. To validate with final users (clinician and patients) functional and usability benefits from the CPWalker concept.
- O7. Evaluation of the practical feasibility of the new system in clinical practice.
We are currently developing, in collaboration with our partner IBV, the robotic platform that will be used to support these therapies. The final validation of the platform will be done in collaboration with Hospital Universitario Niño Jesús during the second semester of 2015.