REHABILITATION ROBOTICS: RISE, A TRANSFORMABLE ROBOTIC WHEELCHAIR PROTOTYPE BY SANT’ANNA SCHOOL BIOROBOTICS INSTITUTE PRESENTED IN ROME YESTERDAY

Definition of Rise in English: move from a lower position to a higher one, stand up. It means rising from a sitting to a standing position - a common activity in daily life. A “barrier-free” society in which it is easier for elderly and disabled people to be self-reliant is the purpose of the RISE research developed by Sant’Anna School Biorobotics Institute and INAIL (Italian National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work) motorial rehabilitation centre in Volterra.

The Rise prototype contributes to independent locomotion for wheelchair users. It is designed to support impaired individuals when rising from a sitting to a standing position through a mechanism driven by an app system (like a vehicle operated by a remote control and rechargeable like a cell phone which can work for 4-6 hours) capable of operating in multiple control modes.

Rise - Robotic Innovation for Standing and Enabling, represents a novel methodology for rehabilitation robotics. It can attain adequate flexion through a femorotibial extensor mechanism that enables the subject to transform from sit-to-stand posture and adjust the posture of his/her upper body.

"It is a model of socially assistive bio-robots for the rehabilitation of people who have suffered serious injuries. This device will help in enhancing the functional capabilities of disabled people improving their quality of life" said Maria Chiara Carrozza.

"The Rise research project is aimed to develop technologies for successful socially-assistive robots based on user needs. The technology transfer opportunity is to encourage Start Up companies to work on the next-generation of socially-assistive robots to enhance health and well-being” said Massimo De Felice, president of INAIL.

"This project- said Stefano Mazzoleni, as the scientific coordinator, was developed by medical doctors, engineers and physiatrists. Our prototype, to avoid this risk of falling, has adopted an anterior projection approach. This approach allows closer position to a table or a computer desk for a better postural stability”.

The conclusion of the Rise project’s first series of experiments is expected in June 2018.