Story by Laurie Fickman Creative by Marcus Allen, Catalina Rodriguez & Jeff LautenbergerStory Published on June 29, 2022
rebless is used in a portable BCI (Brain-Computer Interface) exoskeleton robot developed
by University of Houston engineering professor Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal and his team
to restore upper limb function.
The robot uses BCI based on scalp electroencephalography (EEG), a way that the noninvasive brain-robot technology
translates the user's brain activity into motor commands to drive powered, assist-as-needed,
upper-limb robotics, which has the potential to promote neuroplasticity and improves motor recovery outcomes.
*Neuroplasticity: the brain’s ability to modify, change, adapt and recover itself. Like a plastic material,
which can be stretched and shaped to a desired design, there are certain properties in the brain that induce flexibility
to recover even decades after a stroke or brain injury.
It’s developed through a project aimed at developing stroke rehabilitation equipment that can be used by more patients
in hospitals and homes by utilizing non-invasive BCIs that extract information on patient exercise intentions
and accelerating the development and use of brainwave-controlled robot rehabilitation through real-time evaluation
of motor function damage and recovery. In general, neural technology is limited to laboratories and clinics
and is very expensive and difficult to use, but since this robot controls a robotic arm (rebless) with brain waves,
it does not require any surgery and can be used both in hospitals and at home,
enabling universal rehabilitation treatment according to the for the original purpose of rebless.
Currently, after clinical trials at Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston,
the robot is being used safely by a patient named Oswald Reedus, who has been unable to use his left arm
due to a stroke for eight years He is the world's first stroke patient to do rehab exercise at home with
an exoskeleton robot controlled by brain waves.
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