Students at Northeastern University are developing electronic gloves to help post stroke patients recover their motor skills. The Angle Tracking and Location at Home System (ATLAS) bimanual rehabilitation glove has sensors and a feedback mechanism that interfaces with a computer to allow hand training at home.
“In this project we were trying to develop a low-cost virtual-environment based glove system that can be used for motor retraining of the arm, hand, fingers and thumb in patients who have suffered a stroke,” Holden said. “The idea … is to keep the cost low enough and the features simple enough that patients can afford to buy one and use it independently in their homes.”
Sivak noted that stroke patients often couldn’t continue with physical therapy, either because they can’t drive to the location or it’s too expensive. “With the glove, the idea is to create an affordable, at-home mechanism to help them regain fine motor skills.”
It works through a series of sensors to provide resistance in hand exercises. The glove is wired to a computer, which displays virtual reality games that sync to hand exercises, Sivak said, explaining that the games add an element of fun to the therapy.
Press release: Helping hands
Photo by Craig Bailey/Northeastern