2023-01 E-BRAiN Newsletter – Humanoid Robot in Action (English version)

Stroke survivors receive comprehensive individualised rehabilitation therapy by a humanoid robot.

Humanoid robot mimics therapeutic interaction of human therapists closely

Just published quantitative research shows that a humanoid robot that is part of the therapeutic expert system E-BRAiN (www.ebrain-science.de) mimics therapeutic interaction of human therapists closely:

The humanoid robot opens and closes the therapeutic session professionally, provides information about the prescribed training, how it works (four different forms of therapy are implemented), and how it will support to reach the individual’s therapeutic goal. During the training, the humanoid robot gives instructions (supported by photos and videos), provides feedback about achievements and any progress made. It also asks for the need to have a break or whether stroke survivors are ready to continue. And all is done in a nice and friendly way, paying attention to (looking at) the patient being treated, and with natural gestures.

Compared to training sessions with a human therapists providing the same type of arm rehabilitation (Arm Basis Training, ABT, or Arm Ability Training, AAT), the overall “picture” of how the robot guided patients was remarkably comparable to the guidance by human therapists. The robot even more frequently explained how the training will help a patient to achieve her/his individual treatment goal. Some differences were related to technical limitations, e.g. the robot cannot sense the patient’s innervation pattern (ABT) or register and respond to spontaneous utterances by patients. Importantly, patients receiving arm rehabilitation sessions guided by the humanoid robot were as focussed and engaged in these sessions as patients were with a human therapist. This was the case not only when the training commenced and everything was new and exciting, but also after two weeks of intensive daily training.

To our knowledge this is the first therapeutic expert system for neurorehabilitation using a humanoid robot that provides different forms of therapy in such a comprehensive and fairly autonomous way. Its clinical effectiveness is currently under investigation. The published research indicates a milestone of achievement: the similarity of individualised coaching that the humanoid robot provides when compared to human therapists providing the same types of arm rehabilitation.

Stroke survivors with incomplete arm paresis or neglect who want to participate in this research and receive complimentary intensive rehabilitation treatment can contact us (for details see https://www.ebrain-science.de/en/translate-to-english-informationen-fuer-patienten/translate-to-english-studienteilnahme/ ).

Figure 1. Therapeutic situation with the humanoid robot

The figure illustrates the therapeutic scenarios for the digital therapeutic system E-BRAiN using a humanoid robot to provide therapeutic interaction during arm rehabilitation sessions for a stroke survivor. Note, in this scenario for the Arm Ability Training for mild arm paresis the patient is able to train the (mildly) affected right arm self-sufficiently; here, the robot provides all therapeutic interaction (information provision, feedback, bond-related interaction) while the patient is led through a sequence of training tasks. The supervising staff in the background is only monitoring the situation and ready to step in, in case the system designed to run autonomously showed an error, or a patient’s need would arise that couldn’t be met by the system.

Ein Forschungsverbund mit Beteiligung der Universität und Universitätsmedizin Greifswald, Universität Rostock und Hochschule Neubrandenburg


Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Platz
Universitätsmedizin Greifswald
AG Neurorehabilitation - E-BRAiN
Fleischmannstraße 44
17475 Greifswald


Team der AG Neurorehabilitation
E-MAil: e-brain@med.uni-greifswald.de
Telefon: 03834 86-6966
Fax: 03834 86-6902

Impressum | Datenschutz | Newsletter abmelden