The EMU has landed

Sheffield-based STEPS Rehabilitation, a leading provider of intensive rehabilitation services for individuals recovering from brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, and complex poly trauma injuries, has added the ExoMotus™ M4 and ArmMotus™ EMU to their suite of technologies; these are the latest rehabilitation robotics from Fourier Intelligence, the Singapore-based technology company that develops pioneering exoskeleton and rehabilitation robotics.

STEPS Rehabilitation is home to one of the only two Exomotus machines in the UK, and to the only ArmMotus EMU. STEPS will be using this cutting-edge technology to explore how it can support the delivery of neurological rehabilitation, improve clinical outcomes and help clients achieve better results.

The devices, distributed by Thor Assistive Technologies in the UK, are being used in the STEPS Rehabilitation RehabHub™ in a partnership with Fourier Intelligence. By using ground-breaking techniques, the technology will underpin research and development to further enhance the understanding of the use of robotics and AI for assisted living, movement, and client rehabilitation.

The ExoMotus™ M4 device allows individuals with lower limb impairments to increase their activity level by performing routine ambulatory functions such as standing and walking on level surfaces and mild slopes. The device allows for individualised gait parameters to suit the user’s specific needs. Early-stage rehabilitation training, such as sit-to-stand exercises, can be performed using the device to promote ideal sensory input, enhance cardiopulmonary function, and prevent muscle atrophy.

The ArmMotus™ EMU is a 3D back-drivable upper limb rehabilitation robot that adopted an innovative cable-driven mechanism, combined with a parallel structure made of lightweight carbon fibre rods which perfectly reduces the friction and inertia of the device. This enables the control system to respond and execute more efficiently, resulting in higher compliance in human-machine interaction.

STEPS’ client, Angela presented at STEPS Rehabilitation with an incomplete spinal cord injury (C2 ASIA D Tetraplegia) following a road traffic accident in January 2020.

Throughout her stay at STEPS Rehabilitation, the client has incorporated the EMU into her comprehensive residential rehabilitation programme, complementing traditional therapies with advanced rehabilitation technology to enhance her recovery and clinical outcomes. For example, her range of elbow flexion in her right elbow increased from 0 degrees (on admission) to 120 degrees (at discharge).

Senior Physiotherapist at STEPS Rehabilitation, Kostas Falidas, has been using the innovative devices during his physiotherapy sessions with clients, and has observed how the ExoMotus™ M4 and ArmMotus™ EMU have provided clients with a fun and engaging experience. By connecting these devices, clients are able to engage in games such as virtual table tennis with each other, creating an even more immersive and interactive experience.

“In addition to being a fun and engaging experience, the devices also generate a report at the end of each session that includes all the client’s achievements and outcome measures, such as produced mean force by the users and range of movement measured. This allows us to track the clients progress and monitor the effectiveness of the treatment plan.” – Kostas

The ArmMotus M2 Pro and ArmMotus™ EMU devices enable clients to practice all possible shoulder and elbow movements in various planes of motion, which is particularly beneficial for clients with upper limb weakness and reduced range of movement of the shoulder and elbow. The STEPS therapists have used the ExoMotus with clients who have spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and stroke survivors they have seen an improvement in client’s gait, lower limb strength, and coordination.

Occupational Therapist, Lucy Greensmith, has praised the ArmMotus™ EMU device for its efficacy in treating clients with spinal cord injuries and upper limb trauma. She recently used the ArmMotus™ EMU with a client with an incomplete spinal cord injury, suffering from central cord syndrome. “The client had dense weakness at the shoulders however they had some hand movement. Prior to using the EMU, the client was usingother equipment, however the EMU proved to be much more effective due to its ease of calibration and a range of games that offer something different every session”.

Toria Chan, Founder and Clinical Director at STEPS Rehabilitation, said, “We are delighted to be in the privileged position of having this innovative rehabilitation technology and be working alongside Fourier Intelligence to develop new treatment protocols, as well as feed into final product design to improve client outcomes.”

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