A team from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in collaboration with NASAM (National Stroke Association of Malaysia) has developed a series of technology-based solution to assist in the rehabilitation of stroke patients.

NASAM is a non-profit organization with a vision to inform the public that there is life after stroke through proper rehabilitation. NASAM also promotes the concept of stroke prevention. Currently, NASAM has 7 centres in Malaysia. NASAM’s long term mission is to make stroke rehab accessible to as many stroke survivors as possible especially to the poor and those living in rural areas.

The UTM team, CR2 (Compact Rehabilitation Robot) will launch and donate two products to NASAM. The two products are CR2-Motion and CR2- Haptic.

CR2-Motion is an award-winning, custom-made VR Game using Kinect for stroke rehabilitation. CR2 won 1st place at Microsoft Imagine Cup 2014 and 2nd at ICREATe Malaysia.
CR2-Haptic is a robotic rehabilitation system designed for individuals who have suffered strokes, traumatic brain injuries or other neurological disorders resulting in hand and arm impairment. The robot helps patients to train their muscle function while playing virtual reality games in three different training modes, namely, passive, assistive and active.

The passive mode is for patients who cannot move their arms or legs at all, while the assistive mode is for patients with limited movements. In active mode, the robot aims to improve the muscle function of the stroke patient by increasing the resistance according to the patients’ recovery rate. The robot also has a tele-monitoring system that enables therapists to monitor patients’ progress through the Internet by analysing collected data such as force and position. Moreover, the robot is equipped with a heartbeat monitoring feature that ensures patients’ health conditions are consistently monitored while conducting the activity.

The robot is designed to be compact and portable, so that it can be easily set up and used by patients at home within a confined space. By using such a rehabilitation robot, patients are able to reduce their rehabilitation cost and further improve the efficiency of the physiotherapy training. Both of these products are research outcomes by UTM students: Khor Kang Xiang, Patrick Chin Jun Hua, Yong Bang Xiang, Hisyam Abdul Rahman and Sim Lee Sen. The CR2 team is led by Dr Yeong Che Fai from the Centre of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIRO). The CR2 team recently won the Grand Prize of MaGIC PitchIN challenge.

CR2 projects are supported by 100 public funders, with RM27,599 raised within 40 days. The contributors come from various countries including Malaysia, Singapore, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Thailand. CR2 projects are also sponsored by many companies including Cytron Techologies Sdn. Bhd. (www.cytron.com.my), Biofit Technologies and Services, Lim-Up Enterprise Sdn. Bhd (http://www.limup.com.my/index.php), DF Automation & Robotics Sdn. Bhd. (http://www.dfautomation.com/), Redeincor PLT (http://www.redeincor.com/), Techcare Innovation Sdn. Bhd., Sandwich Multimedia (http://sandwichmultimedia.com/).
The projects are also supported by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Collaborative Research in Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) and Cradle Coach and Grow program from Cradle funding Sdn Bhd.