Intelligent Robotics And Immersive Displays For Enhancing Haptic Interaction In Physical Rehabilitation Environments

Disabling events such as stroke affect millions of people worldwide, causing a need for efficient and functional rehabilitation therapies in order for patients to regain motor function for reintegration back into their normal lives. Rehabilitation regimes often involve performing exercises that mimic the movements used in activities of daily living and are intended to promote recovery from the physical aspects of an injury. However, alongside physical disability, some patients (e.g., stroke patients) develop cognitive deficiencies that affect their ability to think, plan, and carry out tasks. It is a necessity then to consider rehabilitation techniques that can also accommodate patients with cognitive deficiencies alongside those without. Rehabilitation systems that provide haptic interaction to patients practicing therapy tasks work towards both of these ends; physical interaction can provide strength and coordination training for improving physical condition, and providing additional tactile sensory feedback can make tasks more intuitive for patients with cognitive deficiencies. This chapter introduces novel techniques to incorporate robotics, machine learning, and augmented reality for the purposes of enhancing the haptic interactions provided by therapists to assist patients in their rehabilitation process.