The rehab robot represents a multi-faceted, cutting-edge solution to ongoing treatment issues. Quanser, with its real time control software and experts in advanced robotics and haptics, was able to take this revolutionary idea from concept through to prototype development in under three monthss.
Quanser is one of few companies with the ability and expertise to add sensory elements to robots and machines that will allow the user to touch, feel and respond to realistic sensations. Using this expertise, Quanser developed a robotic prototype that incorporated valuable input from Toronto Rehab therapists throughout the process. This enabled Quanser to ensure that the device was effective in providing realistic feedback and the appropriate range of motion.
Quanser also worked with the University of Toronto’s Intelligent Assistive Technology and Systems Lab (IATSL), which provided the artificial intelligence (AI) component that allows the Quanser robot to respond to a patient’s progress and modify the exercise accordingly.
Quanser is able to seamlessly integrate the new technology from both a hardware and software standpoint, to achieve the most realistic and marketable device possible. Quanser’s team created the physical (robotic) and virtual (rehab simulations) interface between the user and the computer. After discussing specific requirements and parameters with the client in detail, Quanser engineered three independent components were for this system. The first is the physical robotic system which was simplified and then pieced together from components that Quanser designers were familiar with as well as standardized components available from select suppliers. The second piece is the controls algorithm which was rapidly developed and tested in WinCon. The third and final component is the Java interface that runs a variety of virtual training sessions and communicates with the real-time robotic process via shared memory space.
During the solution implementation process, Quanser places great importance upon its one-on-one interaction with partners and clients, placing a lead engineer in direct contact with the client during the entire project for efficient, high-level communication.
Quanser is also very flexible and responsive to its clients’ needs. In this case, for instance, one important requirement of the client was to conduct timely research and publish findings.