The MyPAM Robot
October 24, 2018 | Simon Jenkins
Designed and refined over many years of research, MyPAM is a robotic joystick, connected to a computer and large screen, which patients can use in their own home to complement the hands-on treatment which they receive from their physiotherapist
The exercises take the form of a computer game, where the user moves a cursor around the screen by controlling a joystick, rather than a mouse.
The Leeds team has created a virtual world in which users attend to an on-screen garden – and where the robot arm allows you to effectively rake the lawn, sow the seeds and water the plants, each of them being a valuable use of their limbs.
Another game is set within a wacky world of banana-grabbing monkeys – and the Leeds researchers are creating new games to make the exercises as interesting and compelling as possible for the users
Initially, the robot moves the patient’s arm by itself, but in time, as the patient gains their own strength and movement, they begin to control the robot themselves. The robot is programmed to react to how the patient is responding to the treatment to gradually offer them more and more independence of movement. The results are then sent remotely for a therapist to examine.