Prototype haptic bracelet

Helping stroke survivors walk tall

Two men testing the OU's haptic braceletes
The OU's haptic bracelets can help stroke survivors walk confidently again

Learning to walk is complicated enough the first time. For a stroke survivor, learning it again can be the biggest challenge of their life. Strokes dramatically affect balance and co-ordination. For a million stroke survivors in the UK, knowing when and how each limb should move can be a near-impossible task.

To help, The Open University has developed special wrist and ankle bracelets that tap into our instinctive sense of rhythm. Built-in haptic feedback (the vibration on your smartphone) allows stroke survivors to feel what their physiotherapist is demonstrating – and respond. They can work on their rehab at home too, without difficult journeys to rehabilitation centres.

Early trials show that these prototype bracelets are a powerful aid to walking at an even pace, sending the wearer’s confidence sky-high. Your support will mean  we can bring them to patients sooner – they could also be the answer for many other neurological conditions, like Parkinson’s. You can help millions of people regain the freedom to step confidently into an independent future.

Changing lives through education and more

Our research and education projects bring immeasurable benefits to so many lives, and we rely on the generosity of our donors for all of them. We’re already making a difference worldwide – but we have the potential to do even more. Each of our projects falls into one of four strands; opening up minds, opportunities, thinking and lives. 

Opportunities
Harnessing the full potential of our disabled veterans
Five members of the RAF
146
Lives
Join a movement of millions
Females studying at desk
126
Opportunities
Scholarships that defy expectations
Open University graduate celebrating her achievement with arms in the air
90
Opportunities
Rewriting the future, blink by blink
Open University graduate with a disability receiving his degree
85
Thinking
Sniffing out cancer
Cancer detection dog with white stripe on face looking into camera
96
Minds
Leading a new learning revolution
Looking at the OpenLearn website on a tablet
98
Minds
Sharing 50 years of education
Professor Wilson tutoring with The Open University
91
Thinking
A helping paw
Dog in training session
84
Opportunities
Helping offenders prepare for life after prison
Female student with study book
87
Lives
Bringing lessons to life across India
Pupils in classroom in India
89
Thinking
Helping stroke survivors walk tall
Prototype haptic bracelet
94
Lives
Sharing life-saving skills in developing countries
Smiling mother carrying baby in Africa
92
Opportunities
Using more minds to make discoveries in STEM
Female science researcher with lab equipment at The Open University
93
Lives
Creating an education revolution
Felicia, a teacher who uses the TESSA programme, with her pupils in Ghana
86
Minds
Building a fairer justice system
Model of human brain
88
Thinking
Helping people with dementia stay independent
Retail worker advising older customer
97
show more stories