Telerobotics-assisted Platform For Enhancing Interaction With Physical Environments For People Living With Cerebral Palsy

In this paper, the design and implementation of a new telerobotics-assisted platform is proposed for individuals who have cerebral palsy (CP). The main objective of the proposed assistive system is to modulate capabilities of individuals through the proposed telerobotic medium and to enhance their control over interaction with objects in a real physical environment. The proposed platform is motivated by evidence showing that lack of interaction with real environments can develop further secondary sensorimotor and cognitive issues for people who grow up with CP. The proposed telerobotic system assists individuals by (a) mapping their limited but convenient motion range to a larger workspace needed for task performance in the real environment, (b) transferring only the voluntary components of the hand motion to the task-side robot to perform tasks and (c) kinaesthetically dissipating the energy of their involuntary motions using a viscous force field implemented in high frequency domain. Consequently, using the proposed system, an individual who has CP will be capable of providing smooth and large-scale motions and presenting enhanced coordination while performing tasks, even if they naturally have involuntary movements, limited range of motion and/or coordination deficits. The proposed architecture is implemented and initially tested for one non-disabled participant. Afterwards, the system is evaluated for one individual who lives with CP. The resulting quality of motion and task performance are analyzed through a designed clinical protocol. The results confirm the functionality of the proposed assistive platform in enhancing the capabilities of individuals who live with CP in interacting with physical environments.