STTR Phase I: In-Home Rehabilitation System for Post Stroke Patients

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Berkeley ExoWorks
320 Forest Street, 6745 HOLLISTER AVENUE, Oakland, CA, 94618
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Nathan Harding
(415) 533-8062
Business Contact:
Nathan Harding
(415) 533-8062
Research Institution:
Univ of CA Berkeley
Homayoon C Kazerooni
Mechanical Engineering
Berkeley, CA, 94720 6312
(510) 642-2964
Nonprofit college or university
This Small Business Technolongy Transfer (STTR) Phase I research develops an in-home training device that allows a post-stroke patient to undergo rehabilitation with little or no assistance. Approximately 500,000 Americans survive a stroke each year. Miraculously, most stroke survivors can relearn skills such as walking that are lost when part of the brain is damaged. They can relearn walking most effectively if they are aided in making the correct motions by a machine or a physical therapist while part of their body weight is supported. This training is expensive and requires the patient to go for regular visits to a stroke center. Utilizing recent breakthroughs in the design of human exoskeletons, this research will create a lightweight robotic exoskeleton which cradles a patient's lower extremities and torso, and maneuvers their paralyzed limbs for them. Using this completely portable device, the patient will not have to go to a rehabilitation facility for daily therapy sessions. The patient can relearn ambulation in the privacy of his/her home with some help from his/her spouse, children, or friends. This device would allow the patient to walk, maneuver and have a more enjoyable, longer duration rehabilitation experience. Ultimately, creating such a device will also give clinicians an alternative to the wheel chair for patients who have more permanent problems, but would benefit enormously from functioning upright and with significant load on their bone structure. The broader impact of this project will be to adddress the needs of millions of people affected by stroke, muscular dystrophy, trauma, neurological disorders or even chronic arthritis, the medical and sociological implications to improve their quality of life and health.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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