Sarcopenia is the loss of skeletal muscle tone, mass and strength associated with aging and lack of exercise. Its incidence is increasing, due to the growth in the number and proportion of older persons in world's population. To prevent the onset of Sarcopenia and to contrast its effects, it is important to perform on a regular basis physical exercises involving the upper and lower limbs. One of the main problems is to motivate elderly people to start a training routine, even better if in groups. This determines the need of innovative, stimulating solutions, targeting groups of people and easily usable. The primary objective of this study was to develop and test a new method for answering this need. We designed a platform where the humanoid robot Pepper guided a group of subjects to perform a set of physical exercises specifically designed to contrast Sarcopenia. The robot illustrated, demonstrated, and then performed the exercises simultaneously with the subjects' group. Moreover, by using an additional external camera Pepper controlled in real time the execution of the exercises, encouraging Participants who slow down or did not complete all the movements. The processing offline of the recorded data allowed estimating individual subjects performance. The platform has been tested with 8 volunteers divided into two groups. The preliminary results were encouraging: participants demonstrated a high degree of satisfaction for the robot-guided training. Moreover, participants moved with almost synchronously, indicating that all of them followed the robot, maintaining engagement and respecting the correct timing of the exercises.

A robot instructor for the prevention and treatment of Sarcopenia in the aging population: A pilot study

Marchesi G.;Micheli E.;Canessa A.;Burlando F.;Casadio M.
2020

Abstract

Sarcopenia is the loss of skeletal muscle tone, mass and strength associated with aging and lack of exercise. Its incidence is increasing, due to the growth in the number and proportion of older persons in world's population. To prevent the onset of Sarcopenia and to contrast its effects, it is important to perform on a regular basis physical exercises involving the upper and lower limbs. One of the main problems is to motivate elderly people to start a training routine, even better if in groups. This determines the need of innovative, stimulating solutions, targeting groups of people and easily usable. The primary objective of this study was to develop and test a new method for answering this need. We designed a platform where the humanoid robot Pepper guided a group of subjects to perform a set of physical exercises specifically designed to contrast Sarcopenia. The robot illustrated, demonstrated, and then performed the exercises simultaneously with the subjects' group. Moreover, by using an additional external camera Pepper controlled in real time the execution of the exercises, encouraging Participants who slow down or did not complete all the movements. The processing offline of the recorded data allowed estimating individual subjects performance. The platform has been tested with 8 volunteers divided into two groups. The preliminary results were encouraging: participants demonstrated a high degree of satisfaction for the robot-guided training. Moreover, participants moved with almost synchronously, indicating that all of them followed the robot, maintaining engagement and respecting the correct timing of the exercises.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/1035650
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