The Star – New device aids recovery for stroke victims

JOHOR BARU: A team from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) have come up with a device that can aid patients who have suffered from a stroke, traumatic brain injuries or other neurological disorders to improve their hand and arm mobility unsupervised.

Dr Yeong Che Fai, a senior UTM lecturer and a team of undergraduates invented the CR2-Haptic device, which comes with computer software that allows patients to engage in virtual games to help train their muscle movement.

Yeong said that the device promotes active training of the forearm and wrist, as it can detect motion.

“The CR2-Haptic is able to sense and automatically guide the patients if they are unable to move their hands themselves, while most other devices lack motion sensors,” he said during a press conference here on Wednesday.

He added that the device was affordable, portable and compact and could be used to train muscle function while playing about six engaging and motivating virtual reality games.

Yeong also said that the it took the team about three years and some RM200,000 in grants to conduct in-depth research, develop the product and come up with a functional prototype.

“Now we are hoping to commercialise the device to governmental and private hospitals nationwide by early next year and later to the public,” he said adding that the cost of the device would be similar to those in the market.

Yeong added that the CR2-Haptic was part of the team’s Compact Rehabilitation Robot (CR2) series of robotic system that were developed for effective rehabilitation training.

“We have included the device in an online invention competition called MaGIC PitchIN Challenge and hope to gain enough support from the public so that our product can be supplied to those in need,” he said.

Yeong said that other robotics system under the CR2 series include the CR2-Motion and CR2-Reaching to promote full body muscle movement and elbow and shoulder movement training respectively.

“We are hoping to deliver the prototypes of the other two inventions to the National Stroke Association of Malaysia in July and target for commercialisation by end of next year,” he added.

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