Whether or not you are a country music fan, you may have heard recently that grammy-winning country singer Randy Travis has been left unable to speak or sing due to a stroke he suffered last year. After his stroke in July 2013, he was able to restore much of his motor functions with physical therapy, but has not regained his speech. According to the National Stroke Association, stroke, or cerebrovascular accident (CVA) usually affects one side of the brain. Movement and sensation for one side of the body is controlled by the opposite side of the brain. What does this mean? If a stroke affects the left side of the brain, there will be problems with the right side of the body.
Could a robot deliver speech therapy? It might sound a little like science fiction, but robot-delivered speech therapy is possible and could soon become a reality in clinical practice. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, are among the first to investigate the potential of humanoid therapists for rehabilitation patients in speech and physical therapy.