The vi-RABT is a 2012 Northeastern University Senior Capstone Design Project:
- Each year, 795,000 Americans suffer a new or recurrent stroke. Projections show significant increase in stroke population by 2030 .
- Ankle sprains represent 2.15 per 1000 person-years in US .
- There is no cost-effective robotic ankle trainer in the market.
- Ankle impairment and weak control over balance are prevalent symptoms for individuals with neuro-muscular disorders.
- Due to the wide range of neurological impairments and orthopedic ankle injuries, there is a need for versatile robotic device to provide controlled ankle and balance rehabilitation exercise.
- The Virtually-Interfaced Robotic Ankle and Balance Trainer (vi-RABT) is the proposed low-cost robotic system that will improve overall ankle/balance strength and mobility.
- The system is equipped with 2-degrees of freedom actuation system in addition to complete mean of kinetic/kinematic measurements.
- vi-RABT provides assistive/resistive ankle rehabilitation and static/dynamic balance training.
- vi-RABT is patent-pending, the system shows promising potential for commercialization after patient studies. IP is assigned to Northeastern University
- Developing a robotic system for rehabilitation of ankle and balance disorders, i.e. mobility and strength
- The system characteristics address:
- Controlled actuation along 2-degrees of freedom of ankle joint,
- Real-time force and motion monitoring, providing objective feedback and subsequent evaluations,
- Virtual reality interface to maximize patient’s immersion in practice,
- Low-cost and portability.
- The frame was constructed out of T-slotted 80/20 aluminum.
- Gear-motors were selected so as to train a 300 lb patient:
- Plantarflexion/Dorsiflexion: 720 Watts
- Inversion/Eversion: 135 Watts
- Timing belts were recruited to transmit the torque from gear-motors to robotic footplates.
- Compressive/tensile force measurement was realized by using four compression load cells between acrylic plate and steel bars.
- Relative encoders were fabricated to the plate for kinematic measurements.
 V. L. Roger, et. al., “Executive summary: heart disease and stroke statistics–2012 update: a report from the American Heart Association,” Circulation, vol. 125, no. 1, pp. 188–197, Jan. 2012.
 B. R. Waterman, B. D. Owens, S. Davey, M. A. Zacchilli, and P. J. Belmont Jr, “The epidemiology of ankle sprains in the United States,” J Bone Joint Surg Am, vol. 92, no. 13, pp. 2279–2284, Oct. 2010.