Mechanical arm to improve stroke patients' rehab process

SINGAPORE - Powered exoskeleton systems are used by the US military, but they could also be beneficial for stroke patients soon.

That is what some biomedical engineering students hope to achieve with their mechanical arm, which aims to improve the rehabilitation of stroke patients who are paralysed on one side of the body.

The contraption could begin clinical trial testing in two months' time.

Mr Tey Du Yuan, 19, and Ms Peng Yong Xue, 20, the two students involved in the project, programmed the mechanical arm three months after taking over from the previous team, who came up with the arm's components.

The project took a year to complete.


The system is designed to replicate human body movements, allowing the patient to move his paralysed arm attached to the exoskeleton just by moving his other arm.

Patients who lose the function of one side of their body after suffering a stroke would benefit greatly from the flexibility afforded by the mechanical arm as their movements are not limited to pre-programmed instructions in conventional rehabilitation systems.

This form of rehabilitation also helps stimulate the part of the brain that has been injured by stroke since the patient is in control of his movement, aiding the patient in his recovery, said Dr Zhu Kuan Yi, the project supervisor.

Get The New Paper for more stories.