RehaBot Physical Therapy Robot Proposed

RehaBot is a proposed integrated reconfigurable haptic feedback rehabilitation robot. RehaBot would provide progressive rehabilitation training procedures for military healthcare enhancement.

(RehaBot mock-up)

The contractor for RehaBot is Hstar Technologies, based in Lowell, MA. The company describes itself as consisting of "engineers, roboticists and managers who were trained, worked and performed successful research and projects at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology."

It's not clear whether or not RehaBot is intended to operate autonomously; it is clear from the US Army solicitation that it should provide telepresence rehabilitation training.

I was just thinking about the 2-1B medical droid from the original Star Wars series. This autonomous medical droid could do surgery as well as rehab.

(2-1B medical droid from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back)

The role of the proposed RehaBot also reminds me of the "automatic massager," a fictional robot from A.E. van Vogt's 1944 story Far Centaurus. After being asleep for decades while traveling between the stars, what sort of machines will help restore vigor to the body?

Slowly, I pushed my hand toward the edge of the bed. Click! My fingers pressed the button that was there. There was a faint hum. The automatic massager began to fumble gently over my naked form.

First, it rubbed my arms; then it moved to my legs and so on over my body. As it progressed, I could feel the fine slick of oil that oozed from it working into my dry skin...
(Read more about the automatic massager)

From An Integrated Physical Therapy/ Rehabilitation Robotic System for Military Healthcare Enhancement via Wired; see also the Hstar Technologies website. Thanks also to Moira for the notice on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/5/2009)

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