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Robotic Device Helps Spine Injury Patients Sit More Comfortably


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 The architecture of the TruST robotic device.

A Columbia University team has invented a robotic device that can be used to assist and train people with spinal cord injuries to sit more stably by improving their trunk control, and to gain an expanded active sitting workspace without falling over or using their hands to balance.

Credit: Columbia University

Columbia University researchers have built a robotic device to assist and train people with spinal cord injuries (SCIs) to sit with greater stability, which could help with recovery.

The Trunk-Support Trainer (TruST) is a motorized cable-driven belt placed on the user's torso to assess postural and workspace-area control limits while sitting; the tool applies force to the torso when the user moves their upper body beyond postural stability limits.

Columbia's Sunil Agrawal said TruST prevents patients from falling, while maximizing their trunk movements beyond their balance limits.

Columbia's Victor Santamaria added that TruST's ability to deliver continuous force-feedback tailored for users' individual postural limits creates opportunities to deploy motor learning-based paradigms to retrain functional sitting in SCI patients.

From Business Standard
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