Hubotics: Exoskeleton for physiotherapy
Hubotics is an initiative presented -and designed- by Luca Randazzo at the OpenCare Deep Games event at CERN earlier this year.
There are various devices used for limb rehabilitation and physical therapy. However, the availability of these devices is limited, expensive and located in healthcare centers. Patients that require daily physical therapy this is a significant obstacle in receiving the care that is needed.
Luca started Hubotics in 2013 after the completion of his Master’s in Computer Science and Robotics. His motivation stemmed from his sister’s experience and family challenges with motor disability. Luca remembers his parents traveling back and forth between clinics and buying expensive devices.
“I realized that achievement of independence through the use of one’s own body is one of the most gratifying experiences, that’s how the idea of creating an exoskeleton to be used in everyday life was born” -Luca Randazzo
Combining technical skills as an engineer and his passion for developing accessible technologies to alleviate suffering, created the pathway for the creation of Hubotics, a low-cost wearable exoskeleton, adaptable to the patient for shoulder and elbow rehabilitation, stimulates muscles and nerves with repetitive motion.
The 3D printed prototype uses Arduino electronics and a smartphone, can be programmed by a physician or a physiotherapist for specific movements. The progress of the user is then collected and analyzed to monitor or improve therapy.
Hubotics is early in the development stage, currently modifying designs to achieve a concept that is usable while maximizing customizability and accessibility.
Test users of the exoskeleton provide feedback for improvements of the prototype. Co-creation in care enables the effectiveness of the overall process while leveraging a mutually valued outcome of healthcare.
Open source design and the use of accessible technology, assure future versions of the device will remain economically viable and available to a large community of people in need.
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