Title: Development of a 4DoFs exoskeleton robot for passive arm movement assistance

Authors: Mohammad H. Rahman; Maarouf Saad; Jean P. Kenné; Philippe S. Archambault; Thierry K. Ouimet

Addresses: Electrical Engineering Department, École de Technologie Superieure, 1100 Notre-dame Ouest, Montreal, Canada. ' Electrical Engineering Department, École de Technologie Superieure, 1100 Notre-dame Ouest, Montreal, Canada. ' Mechanical Engineering Department, École de Technologie Superieure, 1100 Notre-dame Ouest, Montreal, Canada. ' School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, 3654 Promenade Sir William Osler, Montreal, Quebec H3G 1Y5, Canada ' Electrical Engineering Department, École de Technologie Superieure, 1100 Notre-dame Ouest, Montreal, Canada

Abstract: Proper functioning of the upper limbs is important to manage essential activities of daily living. To provide assistance and rehabilitation to individuals with upper limb dysfunction due to conditions such as stroke or spinal cord injuries, we have developed a 4DoFs exoskeleton robot (ExoRob). The ExoRob was designed to be worn on the lateral side of the upper arm, to conform to a naturalistic range of movement for the shoulder and elbow joints. This paper focuses on the modelling, design, development, and control of the ExoRob. Experiments were carried out with healthy human subjects where trajectories tracking in the form of passive rehabilitation exercises were performed. Further experiments were carried out with the master exoskeleton arm (mExoArm, an upper-limb prototype exoskeleton arm) where subjects operate the mExoArm (like a joystick) to maneuver the ExoRob to provide passive rehabilitation. Experimental results show that the ExoRob can effectively perform passive rehabilitation exercises.

Keywords: exoskeleton robots; physical disability; arm impairment; upper extremity rehabilitation; PID control; compliance control; passive arm movements; assistive technology; upper limbs; strokes; spinal cord injuries; robot modelling; robot design; robot control.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMA.2012.046587

International Journal of Mechatronics and Automation, 2012 Vol.2 No.1, pp.34 - 50

Available online: 01 May 2012 *

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