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For the past 16 years, Romit Feingold has worked as a physical therapist with people who have suffered from stroke and other forms of neurological damage. She’s noticed one problem in particular: the average 45-minute therapy session covers just a fraction of the amount of work and effort that patients need to put into their rehabilitation, leaving them to carry out the rest on their own. Unfortunately–whether because of frustration, boredom, or lack of motivation–many patients fail to follow through.

This is where Feingold sees an opportunity for robotics to engage and motivate patients to maintain the necessary amount of therapy. Currently in the works is the development of a humanlike, inviting, and friendly robot designed to guide and encourage patients through upper extremity exercises.

In its final form, the robot should be able to detect and ensure that the patient is performing each exercise correctly. By incorporating a variety of interactive games throughout the exercises, it is hoped that patients will feel more engaged with and excited about the work needed in order to reach maximum recovery.

Tune in to hear the details, and visit http://shelly453.wixsite.com/levy-tzedek-lab to learn more about this ongoing research.

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