iRebot: An Interactive Rehabilitation Robot with Gesture Control

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Army Cyber Institute

Publication Date


Publication Title

2020 IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society (EMBC)

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Physical therapy efficacy relies on patient compliance and motivation. However, the monotony, intensity, and expense of most therapy routines do not promote engagement. Technology-based rehabilitation has the potential to provide engaging and cost-effective treatment, leading to better compliance and mobility outcomes. We present an interactive rehabilitation robot (iRebot) as an affordable, gesture-controlled vehicle that can provide a form of entertainment while conducting physical therapy. Healthy participants (n=11) executed a test maze with the iRebot for six repeated trials, three with each hand. Survey scores and quantitative metrics were evaluated to assess system usability and baseline motor performance, respectively. Wrist mobility across participants was evaluated, with an active range of motion of 39.7± 13° and 72.8± 18° for pitch and roll, respectively. In the course of conducting a single trial (time duration=87.2±67 sec), the participants performed on average 30 full wris t motion repetitions (e.g., flexion/extension). Participants rated the system's usability as excellent (survey score: 85 ± 13), and all participants indicated they would prefer iRebot over standard therapy. The iRebot demonstrated potential as an evidence-based rehabilitation tool based on excellent user ratings and the ability to monitor at- home compliance and motor performance.

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