Coaching robots to information injured employees by means of simulated duties may make return-to-work evaluations and therapy applications more practical and accessible, in keeping with researchers on the College of Alberta.
In a overview of scientific literature on efforts to make use of robotics for occupational rehabilitation, the researchers reported that robots with machine studying capabilities have the potential to precisely reproduce the bodily actions employees expertise and supply exact measurements of sufferers’ talents.
“This analysis will hopefully enhance the evaluation of labor potential and rehabilitation remedies, and result in safer and extra sustainable return-to-work efforts after damage,” mentioned Doug Gross, a bodily therapist and professor within the School of Rehabilitation Medication.
He famous the know-how may very well be used throughout instances of bodily distancing, and increase rehabilitation services to folks residing in rural areas who would in any other case must journey to entry them.
“You may have a therapist in Edmonton programming the robotic and the affected person in a rural space responding with what the therapist needs them to do,” defined Gross.
The robots may simply be educated with none programming data utilizing a machine-learning method referred to as studying from demonstration, Gross famous.
“After we say robots, we’re not speaking about C-3PO, however extra just like the robotic arm of the area shuttle,” he mentioned.
The way it works
The therapist “applications” the robotic by bodily displaying it the best way to do a activity, equivalent to serving to a affected person elevate an injured leg excessive sufficient to stroll. The educated robotic then helps the affected person full the exercise within the absence of the human therapist. On the identical time, the robotic can quantify the affected person’s actions, aiding the therapist’s analysis and offering exact measurements of the affected person’s progress.
These exact measurements, unobservable to the human eye, may additionally assist to inspire sufferers, mentioned engineering professor and research co-author Mahdi Tavakoli.
“When you’ve got steady evaluation, you may inform the affected person after they enhance by two or three %. That gives motivation,” he mentioned.
Tavakoli added that the augmented actuality element of the know-how may make the method extra significant for sufferers by producing duties that intently mimic these they really must do at work.
“Identical to a flight simulator creates the visualization and feeling of flying an precise plane for the pilot, the augmented actuality show and the robot create the visible scene and the bodily feeling of doing these duties,” he mentioned.
Whereas the know-how is advancing, Gross mentioned it can by no means be capable to substitute the experience of human therapists.
“These instruments present exact details about purposeful potential, however the therapist is the one who interprets and places all of it collectively, and is then liable for making suggestions. There may be all the time going to be a necessity for a therapist to make that high-level choice and supply oversight. We’re simply making an attempt to enhance the instruments.”
Gross mentioned the following stage of this analysis entails working with rehabilitation clinics to check the idea with injured employees.
The research, “Clever Robotics Incorporating Machine-Studying Algorithms for Enhancing Purposeful Capability Analysis and Occupational Rehabilitation,” was revealed within the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation.
Jason Fong et al. Clever Robotics Incorporating Machine Studying Algorithms for Enhancing Purposeful Capability Analysis and Occupational Rehabilitation, Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation (2020). DOI: 10.1007/s10926-020-09888-w
University of Alberta
How robots may assist injured employees get better (2020, June 18)
retrieved 18 June 2020
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