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­sing Robots in Patient Rehabilitation


Demonstrating physical therapy for Israeli president Reuven Rivlin.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev researchers have tested user preferences when interacting with a robot on a joint movement task as a first step toward developing an interactive movement protocol to be used in rehabilitation.

Credit: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Israel conducted a study to test user preferences when engaging with a robot on a joint movement task as an initial step toward developing an interactive movement rehabilitation protocol.

"Our research shows that the type of motions that the robot makes when interacting with humans makes a difference in how satisfied the person is with the interaction," says BGU's Shelly Levy-Tzedek.

Twenty-two college-age participants played a leader-follower mirror game with a robotic arm; when the arm was leading, it executed movements that were either sharp or smooth.

Levy-Tzedek says the study supported three conclusions--robotic movement primes human movement, there is no clear-cut preference for leading or following the machine, and a human preference for smooth movements exists.

"Thus, determining the elements in the interaction that make users more motivated to continue is important in designing future robots that will interact with humans on a daily basis," Levy-Tzedek says.

From American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
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