gaming and robotic rehabilitation

Inpatient Rehab Technology

At the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute, robotics and gaming technology are rapidly becoming valuable tools in rehabilitation. These technologies allow for precise, measured, and varied repetition that can be adjusted for each person’s individualized care.

GameCycle®: A hand-operated exercise bike with a gaming twist

Invented at the University of Pittsburgh, the GameCycle combines a stationary hand cycle with a commercial video game, allowing you to get exercise while playing any Nintendo GameCube®.

The GameCycle provides cardiovascular and balance exercise and flexibility and strength training. A patient uses GameCycle using both hands to cycle forward and backward in a rowing motion to move the game character on the monitor.

This program benefits patients who have limited use of one or both legs due to:

Lokomat®: A robotic treadmill for people who can’t walk on their own

With the assistance of robotic leg supports, the Lokomat provides treadmill training to people who are partially paralyzed or have limited use of one or both legs. A therapist places the patient into a harness to suspend them over a treadmill. The robotic sensors on the treadmill help their legs move in natural walking patterns.

The Lokomat benefits people whose recovery depends on active walking exercise, including:

Armeo®: Task-oriented rehabilitation for weakened arms

The Armeo partially compensates for the weight of a patient’s arm, allowing them to use their remaining strength to perform exercises. The Armeo works by having the patient insert their arms into the device to move in all directions while playing computer games or completing simulated everyday tasks, the goal is to remind the patient’s brain how to control arm function.

The Armeo benefits:

The UPMC Rehabilitation Institute is committed to developing innovative technologies for our patient’s improvement. Projects in development include new applications of existing technologies, such as novel uses of the Apple iPad®. One of the most promising projects uses voice activation on the iPad to help people feed themselves with a mechanical arm.