Published on 18 October 2017
This competition, which aimed at identifying and rewarding innovative projects that reduce disability and improve rehabilitation, rewarded Robo-K, the walking rehabilitation robot developed by BA Healthcare.
During its 32nd annual congress, the French Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (SOFMER) organized for the second consecutive year the “Disability and Innovation” competition.
The winners of the 5 categories of the competition were announced on October 7th, last day of the congress: connected object, services to individuals, evaluation, sustainable development and rehabilitation. ROBO-K won the sustainable development and rehabilitation category for the new prospects opened up by the robot in the improvement of patients with walking disorders rehabilitation.
Walking more to walk better with a rehabilitation robot
This collaborative project funded by Europe within the FUI 13 began in September 2012. It aims at rehabilitating patients who suffer from walking disability with a neurological origin, whether due to stroke, multiple sclerosis, head trauma, Parkinson’s disease, etc.
To learn how to walk again, patients need… to walk again! This relearning is essentially limited by the patient’s joint pains and the practitioners’ available time. Thanks to an intelligent suspension system that can relieve the patient from 50% of his weight, the stresses on his joints are significantly reduced.
Moreover, the robot localization system offers an autonomous navigation in the rehabilitation center, freeing the physiotherapist who can then focus on his therapeutic support and on encouraging the patient.
Finally, a recording system that store the parameters of the exercises proposed to the patient, offers him a progressive therapy, adapted accordingly to his own progress.
Tests in real conditions during clinical trials at the University Hospital in Rennes and the CMRRF in Kerpape on a sample of 36 patients, lasted 4 weeks. ROBO-K has helped improving significantly their walking performance. For example, on the 10-meter walk test, the patients take 38 seconds at the end of the therapy compared to 54 seconds before. It is noteworthy that all of the walking indicators assessed during the study have been improved.
ROBO-K II: a step closer to the market of walking reeducation
Based on those promising results, BA Healthcare in partnership with M2S (Biomechanics Laboratory of the University of Rennes 2), continues these developments with ROBO-K II project that began at the end of 2016.
Faithful to the successful DNA of the first ROBO-K project – especially the regulated suspension system – the new device will include biofeedbacks, that is to say a real-time restitution of physiological and biomechanical measurements related to the quality of patients walk.
Planned for the end of 2018, ROBO-K II will be a new step towards more motivating, ecological and efficient gait training.