Review of control strategies for robotic movement training after neurologic injury
1 Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Irvine, USA
2 Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Irvine, USA
Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 2009, 6:20 doi:10.1186/1743-0003-6-20Published: 16 June 2009
There is increasing interest in using robotic devices to assist in movement training following neurologic injuries such as stroke and spinal cord injury. This paper reviews control strategies for robotic therapy devices. Several categories of strategies have been proposed, including, assistive, challenge-based, haptic simulation, and coaching. The greatest amount of work has been done on developing assistive strategies, and thus the majority of this review summarizes techniques for implementing assistive strategies, including impedance-, counterbalance-, and EMG- based controllers, as well as adaptive controllers that modify control parameters based on ongoing participant performance. Clinical evidence regarding the relative effectiveness of different types of robotic therapy controllers is limited, but there is initial evidence that some control strategies are more effective than others. It is also now apparent there may be mechanisms by which some robotic control approaches might actually decrease the recovery possible with comparable, non-robotic forms of training. In future research, there is a need for head-to-head comparison of control algorithms in randomized, controlled clinical trials, and for improved models of human motor recovery to provide a more rational framework for designing robotic therapy control strategies.