Centre for Robotics and Innovation
Robotic technology is being used to aid the rehabilitation of children with serious neurological disorders and injuries thanks to the Centre for Robotics and Innovation.
Robotic technology is being used to aid the rehabilitation of children with serious neurological disorders and injuries thanks to a purpose-built gym at the Women's and Children's Hospital (WCH).
Known as the Little Heroes Foundation Centre for Robotics and Innovation, the new facility houses equipment that provides tailored therapies to aid in walking, arm movement and coordination.
Rehabilitation clinicians believe the more therapy a child with neurological dysfunction can access, the greater the benefits are likely to be.
Robotic technology is a way of giving children a greater amount of therapy without necessarily involving a lot more cost in terms of therapist time.
The robotic equipment is also useful for developing cardiovascular fitness for those children who may not do much physical exercise due to their disability.
This technology helps children with a range of neurological disabilities caused by brain tumours, brain injury, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and neuromuscular disorders.
Young people who are current inpatients or day patients of the Paediatric Rehabilitation program are able to access the technology.
Two robotic machines have been installed - a Lokomat designed to improve walking pattern and function - and an Armeo, which assists with developing muscle strength, power and range of movement in the arm.
Both pieces of equipment are very precise in the way they generate movement of a child’s limbs and allow for more efficient and effective therapy.