Hand Orthosis for Stroke Rehabilitation

Rehabilitating the hand is, in a sense, the neglected middle child of stroke recovery. Rehabilitation therapies (physical, occupational and speech) are proven methods, but also a precious resource. Occupational therapy (that would include but not be exclusively devoted to the hand) is typically only provided up to a maximum of 3 hours per week for six months or less, and little improvement is generally seen after that. In fact, fewer than half of stroke patients with upper limb impairment ever regain functional use! And, as one stroke patient concluded in personal discussions, "if the hand does not work, there is little incentive to use the arm at all..."

We aim to develop a wearable and active hand orthosis able to assist the user in creating hand movement and applying forces. During the post-event recovery period, this device will serve as a rehabilitation tool; both during recover and thereafter, it can also serve as a functional device worn for performing daily activities. Critically, if an orthosis can be wearable, dexterous and intuitive to use, patients could use it outside of direct clinical supervision, including at home. 

Selected publications and resources

  • A. Chen, L. Winterbottom, K. O'ReillyS. Park, D. Nilsen, J. Stein and M. Ciocarlie. "Design of Spiral-Cable Forearm Exoskeleton to Provide Supination Adjustment for Hemiparetic Stroke Subjects", International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, 2022 [arXiv]
  • A. Chen, L. Winterbottom, S. ParkJ. Xu, D. Nilsen, J. Stein and M. Ciocarlie. "Thumb Assistance Via Active and Passive Exotendons in a Robotic Hand Orthosis for Stroke", IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters 7(3), 2022 (also presented at IEEE BioRob 2022) [arXivIEEE Xplore]
  • J. XuC. MeekerA. Chen, L. Winterbottom, M. Fraser, S. Park, L. Weber, M. Miya, D. Nilsen, J. Stein and M. Ciocarlie. "Adaptive Semi-Supervised Intent Inferral to Control a Powered Hand Orthosis for Stroke", IEEE Intl. Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2022 [arXivvideo]
  • S. Park, M. Fraser, L. Weber, C. Meeker, L. Bishop, D. Geller, J. Stein and M. Ciocarlie. "User-Driven Functional Movement Training with a Wearable Hand Robot after Stroke", IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 28(10), 2020 [arXivvideo, link to IEEE XPlore]
  • S. Park. "Advancing the Functionality and Wearability of Robotic Hand Orthoses Towards Activities of Daily Living in Stroke Patients", Columbia University Doctoral Dissertation, 2020 [pdf]
  • C. Meeker. "Intuitive Human-Machine Interfaces for Non-Anthropomorphic Robotic Hands", Columbia University Doctoral Dissertation, 2020 [pdf, video of defense seminar]
  • S. ParkC. Meeker, L. Weber, L. Bishop, J. Stein and M. Ciocarlie"Multimodal Sensing and Interaction for a Robotic Hand Orthosis", IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 4(2), 2019 [arXiv]
  • S. Park, L. Bishop, L. Weber, J. Stein and M. Ciocarlie. “Design and Development of Effective Transmission Mechanisms on a Tendon Driven Orthosis for Stroke Patients”, IEEE Intl. Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2018 [arXivvideo]
  • C. MeekerS. Park, L. Bishop, J. Stein and M. Ciocarlie. “EMG Pattern Classification to Control a Hand Orthosis for Functional Grasp Assistance after Stroke”, IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, 2017 [arXiv]
  • S. Park, L. Bishop, T. Post, Y. Xiao, J. Stein, M. Ciocarlie. "On the Feasibility of Wearable Exotendon Networks for Whole-Hand Movement Patterns in Stroke Patients",  IEEE Intl. Conference on Robotics and Automation, Stockholm, May 2016 [arXiv]