The Dutch robotics project "Mobile Arm Support", or MAS, was aimed at helping people with limited arm and shoulder strength to regain more arm and shoulder functionality.
The project was active between 2011-2012 as part of a Dutch robotics inititative. Participants were the Technical University of Twente (UTwente), Saebo Inc. and Hankamp Rehab.
The MAS is a robotic device, developed as a helpful tool during therapy and in-house activities. A MAS system could be used by people who do not possess sufficient movement in an arm or shoulder.
The support system is lightweight and easily adjustable in height, which makes it functional for both standing and sitting down. The MAS works on a zero-gravity basis and is easily adjustable in 15 different levels of tension. This may depend on the strength the patient has in the affected arm/shoulder or the weight of the arm.
The gravity support could be gradually downgraded to keep challenging the patient and help regain more functionality. This is very important for a patient, because the renewal of boundaries allows the forging of new pathways to the brain, which may lead to regaining of a certain amount of function.
The MAS is now being used in 22 of the top 25 ranked rehabilitation hospitals in the United States. Many users of the arm support are also eligible for receiving reimbursements by their respective health insurances, making it more accessible for everyone.