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ICORR'07 - 10th international conference on rehabilitation robotics

Program - Workshops

Stroke Rehabilitation: New Perspectives in the Application of Robotic Technology


Rui C.V. Loureiro
The University of Reading
School of Systems Engineering, Cybernetics
Interactive Systems Research Group
tHRIL - the Human-Robot Interface Laboratory
Reading, RG6 6AY, UK
Email: r.c.v.loureiro[at]

Michelle J. Johnson
Medical College of Wisconsin
Dept. of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation,
9200 W. Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA

Farshid Amirabdollahian
The University of Salford
Think Lab, 7th Floor Maxwell Building
The Crescent, Salford, M5 4WT, UK

William S. Harwin
The University of Reading
School of Systems Engineering, Cybernetics
Interactive Systems Research Group
tHRIL - the Human-Robot Interface Laboratory
Reading, RG6 6AY, UK

Stroke is a leading cause of mortality, disability and cognitive dysfunction worldwide. The aim of stroke rehabilitation should be to maximize functional recovery for real life activities and encourage at every turn restorative practices resulting in the coordinated use of affected extremities or faculties. Ideally, clinicians and engineers alike desire affordable technology systems that span to clinical and home environment, are easy to use and result in functional gains that carryover to real life. Technology has played a pivotal role in measurement, assessment, therapy provision through movement assistance and social aspects, but the uptake of such technology e.g., the wide-spread integration of robot-assisted therapy systems into healthcare environments has been slow and difficult. Barriers persist and the dream to have these assistive technologies successfully span both the clinic and the home environments has still not been realized.

This workshop will try to

  • Explore the problem in the introduction/acceptance of advanced technology in Neuro-Rehabilitation following a stroke
  • Generate excitement about research in this area (inspire young researchers, funding agencies, colleagues, user groups)
  • Bring together leading researchers in the field to share their results, experiences and visions for the future of robotic technology in stroke rehabilitation.


  • Highlight current research in the field and technology challenges.
  • Identify new opportunities for machine-mediated neuro-rehabilitation.
  • Understand the concept of motivation applied to the recovery process of Stroke Neuro-rehabilitation.
  • Delineate how technology can be better integrated into current therapy practice and be used to define new directions in stroke research.


  • Eldercare
  • Growing need for home care to keep elderly and disabled in home (promote independence)
  • Rising cost of healthcare
  • Decrease in length of stay at hospitals
  • Need for maximizing outcomes after intervention
  • Global community to solve problems

The workshop will be organized into three main sessions (including 20 minute invited talks with time for breakout discussions) and a final open roundtable. The total duration of the workshop is 3 hours.

  • Session 1) Science of Stroke Rehabilitation - A clinical perspective;
  • Session 2) Developing Robotic Technology for Assisted Therapy - Current research;
  • Session 3) Robotic Driven Therapies - Where should we go from here?

More details of invited talks and structure will be announced closer to the conference date.

This workshop is open to all. In fact, active participation on the discussions will be encouraged. This workshop will be of particular interest to: the general public with an interest in rehabilitation, clinical scientists, engineers, robotics industry, technology and health care providers, user groups and research funding organizations.

The results of this workshop will be published in the form a of a white paper/special issue, either on the conference website/proceedings or on an International journal.

Clinical Perspectives of Hybrid Bionic Systems

Workshop Organizers:

Paolo Dario
Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna
via G. Carducci, 40
56127 Pisa, Italy
ARTS (Advanced Robotics Technology & Systems) Lab

Cecilia Laschi
Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna
Piazza Martiri della Liberta', 33
56127 Pisa, Italy
ARTS (Advanced Robotics Technology & Systems) Lab

Hybrid Bionic Systems, intended as robotic artefacts connected to human bodies and brains, are one of the current frontiers of robotics research and of the development of robotics technologies. Developing hybrid bionic systems is a challenge that needs a strategic alliance between robotics and neuroscience and that can bring benefits to both disciplines: roboticists have the opportunity of developing new-generation robotic systems, incorporating knowledge and models from neuroscience; neuroscientists have the opportunity of studying the brain with new experimental tools, i.e. biomorphic robotic artefacts controlled by the brain as parts of the body.

The NEUROBOTICS Integrated Project (IP) (, funded by the European Commission in the IST/FET Programme, aims at exploring the field of hybrid bionic systems, by taking the challenge of designing and developing new robotic artefacts and new human-robot interfaces, incorporating models of the human nervous system as formulated in neuroscience. The NEUROBOTICS IP is investigating the problems of developing hybrid bionic systems by taking into account three different scenarios: Beyond Tele-operation; Beyond Orthoses; and Beyond Prostheses (read more *here*).

The aim of the Workshop on “Clinical Perspectives of Hybrid Bionic Systems” at ICORR 2007 is to discuss the potential of the NEUROBOTICS IP with respect to clinical applications of some of the bionic systems developed in the project, with potential end users. The final goal for the organizers is to receive a consistent feedback for steering the project activities and for planning the further developments of the project results.

The workshop will present the NEUROBOTICS objectives and achievements so far for what relates more directly to a potential clinical application. Additional presentations will be given by invited speakers on more general issues related to bionics and human-robot interfaces. A focussed session will be devoted to an open discussion of the key issues raised in the workshop with the potential and users and all the attendees.

Special Interest Group on Rehabilitation Robotics of the WFNR (World Federation of NeuroRehabilitation)


Hermano Igo Krebs
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mechanical Engineering Dept
Cambridge, MA, USA


Immediately following the Anniversary Symposium there will be a meeting of the Executive Board of the WFNR to prepare the 2008 Conference in Rio de Janeiro. This is an open workshop and everyone is invited to join in. One of the topics is to discuss how to integrate better with physician groups.

2006 ICORR2007. All rights reserved