Parkinson: a robot for patients therapy with irish dancing rhythm

The SI-ROBOTICS project launches a new protocol for the rehabilitation of people affected by Parkinson's disease. Coordinated by Exprivia, it is being tested at the IRCCS INRCA (National Institute for the Rehabilitation and Treatment of Elderly People) of Ancona
1 February 2022. A new multidisciplinary approach to treat Parkinson's disease with SI-ROBOTICS, the robot that accompanies people affected by neurodegenerative disease in Irish dancing, improving their physical and cognitive condition. In addition to a robotic device, the system uses an artificial intelligence platform with sensors for observing vital and cognitive parameters designed and developed by Exprivia, the international Information and Communication Technology group, in cooperation with 17 public-private* partners, including IRCCS INRCA of Ancona, where the testing takes place.

Financed by MIUR (Ministry for Education, University and Research), the project has the objective of offering an innovative rehabilitation path based on Irish dancing, where the patient learns and changes complex movements in time with music, generating a positive impact on motor symptoms through a captivating and entertaining activity. In fact, Irish dancing is particularly effective in improving body-mind coordination and it can be practised at any age, contributing to a correct posture and the maintenance of physical shape.

Through the sensors, the robot is able to collect in real time physical and emotional data of those it interacts with in the dance, offering specialists the possibility of personalising and adapting the patient's exercise requirements and monitor the progression of psychophysical rehabilitation. The first tests on voluntary patients are taking place at IRCCS INRCA of Ancona.

"Exprivia has made available an Artificial Intelligence platform to support a multidisciplinary approach, based on dancing, for the treatment of Parkinson's disease - commented Giovanni Melone, Exprivia Innovation Lab Delivery Manager and coordinator of the SI-ROBOTICS project. The solution is interoperable and, with a set of protocols, interfaces and services for the development of applications, is able to manage data from heterogeneous sources on the cloud and support patients and health operators. A technological system that allows to demedicalise treatments, making treatment fun".

"Our patients have had fun during the exercises and the system has allowed us to work on the improvement of movements, collecting data for a more accurate and functional assessment, with enormous emotional benefits - commented Dr. Giovanni Riccardi, Director of the Rehabilitative Medicine Complex Operative Unit at INRCA – IRCCS, who performed the tests. "The robot works by teaching coordination movements for lower and upper limbs, cross movements, movements in all directions, in rhythmical manner, reducing the risk of falling and also improving cognitive aspects".
The protocol of the SI-ROBOTICS study was recently published in the international magazine Frontiers in Public Health, with the title "Dancing With Parkinson's Disease: The SI-ROBOTICS Study Protocol" (

*The partners in the project are: Exprivia, Item Oxigen srl, R2M Solution srl, Grifo Multimedia srl, Next2U srl, Cupersafety srl, INRCA - National Institution for Rehabilitation and Treatment of Elderly People, Fondazione Neurone Onlus, CSS- “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza” Religious Foundation - Opera di San Pio da Pietralcina, SSSA - Sant'Anna Postgraduate and Training Sant'Anna, University of Milano, University of Geona, “La Sapienza" University of Rome, University Polytechnic of Marche, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, CNR- National Research Council (CNR-ISTC, CNR-ITB, CNR-IMM, CNR-IRIB), “Eduardo R. Caianiello National Institute for Advanced Scientific Studies”.