Introducing Interactive Robotics From Kinarm
Brainbox is pleased to confirm an exciting new partnership with Canadian neurotechnology company Kinarm.
Opening up fantastic new opportunities for neuromodulation research, we are looking forward to working closely with our new partners to support the neuroscience community through the development and deployment of Kinarm's revolutionary interactive robotics systems.
What does Kinarm do?
Kinarm is addressing the lack of objective measures of brain function in subjects by pioneering the use of interactive robotics to provide a scientific platform to quantify behaviour in a highly-controlled virtual reality environment.
Using a range of specially-designed Kinarm Standard Tests, a clinician-scientist can detect, quantify, and track meaningful change to a broad range of cognitive, motor, and sensory dysfunctions associated with neurological injuries and/or diseases. This versatile platform also provide researchers with the ability to design and develop their own custom behavioural tasks using an easy-to-use programming environment that supports seamless integration with many peripheral devices and techniques, including electromyography (EMG) and non-invasive brain stimulation techniques.
Founded by leading neuroscientists with a strong dedication to scientific rigour and excellence, Kinarm's philosophy is completely aligned with Brainbox's own dedication to enabling only the very best in neuroscience research.
Andrew Thomas, Managing Director of Brainbox, says, “We are very excited about the possibilities that Kinarm will open up for our customers. Kinarm offers the ability to objectively quantify behaviour and the impact of neurostimulation approaches on performance. With the prospect of Kinarm’s assistance in validating such techniques, there is hope for the development of novel treatments and therapies for people suffering with brain injury or disease.”
Kinarm’s President & CEO, Anne Vivian-Scott, says, “With Brainbox’s deep expertise in non-invasive brain stimulation and their capabilities at integrating different technologies, we are excited by the opportunity to create a truly end-to-end solution for neuroscientists. This really represents the next frontier for Kinarm and for the global initiative to improve outcomes following a brain injury or disease. We’re excited by the possibilities that our partnership hopes to foster.”
If you would like to learn more about Kinarm Labs, or the fundamentals of interactive robotics as a technique, you can find a short introduction below or - for a more in-depth understanding - visit our new interactive robotics technique page.
Kinarm is the world's first interactive robotic system for measuring - with exquisite sensitivity and precision - the effects of a wide range of injuries and diseases on human behaviour.
Initially used to assess the effects of stroke on patients, today Kinarm is shedding light on the brain effects of more than 24 different diseases and conditions, from autism, ADHD, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, to Alzheimer's, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis (MS), traumatic brain injury (TBI), concussion, chronic pain, kidney dialysis, and even invasive surgeries such as cardiac bypass and shoulder replacement. In research environments, Kinarm is also helping neuroscientists answer and understand fundamental questions about cognitive, motor, and sensory function.
To use Kinarm, a subject stands or sits at the system where they will be required to perform a series of behavioural tasks across a one-hour session. Within seconds, the intelligent Kinarm system is able to generate standardised reports that compare the patient's performance to healthy controls.
To date, Kinarm is in use at over 100 leading research labs worldwide in an attempt to understand exactly how the brain works, including labs at the University of Oxford, the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, Johns Hopkins University, and University College London. Research using the Kinarm system has already generated over 250 basic and clinical research publications, whose discoveries are leading to better understanding and diagnosis of brain impairments, and inspiring new approaches to patient treatment and rehabilitation.
About Interactive Robotics
Interactive robotics systems comprise a range of innovative new devices that provide neuroscience researchers and clinicians with a means to assess a subject or patient's ability to perform a range of behavioural tasks created specifically to probe cognitive, motor, and/or sensory functions. Commonly, behaviour tasks with interactive robotics systems require a subject to grasp an end-effector robot (such as the Kinarm End-Point Lab) or to couple their upper limb with an exoskeleton robot (such as the Kinarm Exoskeleton Lab) while moving in a two-dimensional virtual reality environment.
By using interactive robotics systems, researchers and clinicians can discriminate extremely subtle (but statistically significant) impairments or changes in performance, providing an essential indicator for developing targeted therapies for brain injury and/or diseases (Simmatis et al, 2017). Read more.