ePHoRt - Web-based platform for home motor rehabilitation

This project aims to develop a web-based system for the remote monitoring of rehabilitation exercises in patients after hip replacement surgery. The tool intends to facilitate and enhance the motor recovery, due to the fact that the patients will be able to perform the therapeutic movements at home and at any time. As in any case of rehabilitation program, the time required to recover is significantly diminished when the individual has the opportunity to practice the exercises regularly and frequently. However, the condition of such patients prohibits transportations to and from medical centers and many of them cannot afford a private physiotherapist. Thus, low-cost technologies will be used to develop the platform, with the aim to democratize its access. For instance, the motion capture system will be based on the Kinect camera that provides a good compromise between accuracy and price. The project will be divided into six main stages. First, researchers in physiotherapy will define the training exercises, possible compensation movements and questionnaires to get a self-reported feedback from the patient. Second, the architecture of the web-based system will be designed. Three different user interfaces will be necessary: (i) one to record quantitative and qualitative data from the patient, (ii) another for the therapist consulting the patient’s performance and adapting the exercises accordingly, and (iii) for the physician having a medical supervision of the recovery process. Third, it will be essential to develop a module that performs an automatic assessment and validation of the rehabilitation activities, in order to provide a real-time feedback to the patient regarding the correctness of the executed movements. Fourth, we also intend to make use of a serious game and affective computing approaches, with the intention of motivating the user to perform the exercises for a sustainable period of time. Fifth, an ergonomic study will be carried out, in order to evaluate the usability of the system. Finally, an experiment will be completed to assess the effectiveness of this telemedicine system by a comparison between the traditional and the computer-assisted rehabilitation. We make the assumption that the latter will significantly reduce the recovery time. It is important to mention the fact that the impact of this project can be potentially extended to the reeducation of other motor impairments.
Period: 2017-2019
Partners: Universidad de Las Américas, New University of Lisbon.



LUDI - Play for children with disabilities

This action aims at the creation of a novel and autonomous field of research and intervention on play for children with disabilities.The network has three main objectives: a) collecting and systematizing all existing competence and skills: educational researches, clinical initiatives, know-how of resources centers and users’ associations; b) developing new knowledge related to settings, tools and methodologies associated with the play of children with disabilities; c) disseminating the best practices emerging from the joint effort of researchers, practitioners and users.
Period: 2014-2017
Partners: Università della Valle d'Aosta, Catholic University of Portugal, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, New University of Lisbon.

COCHISE - Cooperation between a service dog and a robot for the human being

Due to the limitations and complementarities between a service dog and an assistive robot, the idea of the Cochise project is to develop a hybrid system animal/robot that will take advantage of both to be more efficient. In the present study, this approach is applied to assist people with motor disabilities. The robot is used to “augment” the service dog by increasing its control from the human being. The machine is used as a mediator that translates and transmits the dog state to the human user, on one hand, and enables the person to trigger predetermined behaviours on the animal, on the other hand.
Period: 2013-2016
Partners: University of South Brittany, CHU of Clermont-Fd, University of Angers, University of Grenoble, New University of Lisbon.

e-ESPOIRS Handi - Strategic and customized evaluation of handicapped situations by computer networking

e-Espoir is a web-based database aimed at the evaluation of physically disabled people. The tool is designed to be used on the client’s side by health care specialists and patients, through two distinct interfaces. Differing from previous projects, the platform implements a user-friendly application easily customizable by the user. The system’s plasticity intends to ensure a strategic evaluation according to the specific impairments and needs of each handicapped person. The user interface is mainly composed by pictogrambased questionnaires and dynamic forms to permit an intuitive utilization even for non-specialist people. The objective of this project is to improve the management of the multidisciplinary health care cooperative network and promote an active involvement of the patient, by allowing the self-evaluation.
Period: 2008-2013
Partners: CHU of Clermont-Fd, New University of Lisbon.

LISLING 3D - Multimedia platform for the rehabilitation of aphasic patients

The project aims at developing a system for the treatment of the lusophone population of aphasic patients. Since this syndrome affects different functional modalities (written and spoken comprehension and expression) an implementation of a multimedia software has been necessary. Thus, the clinical material – developed by speech and language therapists – is displayed in the form of auditive, writing or virtual environments stimuli, following their relevance to the chosen task. Exercise results integrate multimodal contents and are essentially recorded into XML files, for a better flexibility of the data processing.
Period: 2009-2012
Partners: Medical Faculty of Lisbon, New University of Lisbon.

MASCARA - Reliable and trustable wireless network to support mission-critical applications

The project aims at developing a wireless network really reliable, trustable and with cognitive properties, in order to provide an efficient support for mission-critical applications in a metropolitan framework. This scientific research will be applied to ambient assisted living.
Period: 2012-2014
Partners: Federal University of Ceará, University of Aveiro, New University of Lisbon.

ARPH - Robotic assistance for handicapped people

ARPH is a manipulator arm mounted on a mobile robot which aims at restoring the manipulative function of an handicapped person. The localisation of the mobile base in indoor partially known environment is an important point. Automatic movements of the mobile robot have already been studied. The analysis of different shared control modes is in progress. Human-machine co-operation is one of the main focus points of the project. Disabled people want to act on the system but do not want to see it working on its one. More, human intervention in the control permits to limit the complexity of the system. In order to make this co-operation effective, the main idea is to give the robot human-like behaviours.
Period: 2000-2007
Partners: University of Evry, AFM, New University of Lisbon.