Robot assisted rehabilitation for elbow and forearm movements
by Mohammad Habibur Rahman; Thierry Kittel-Ouimet; Maarouf Saad; Jean-Pierre Kenné; Philippe S. Archambault
International Journal of Biomechatronics and Biomedical Robotics (IJBBR), Vol. 1, No. 4, 2011

Abstract: The movements of the shoulder, elbow, and wrist play a vital role in the performance of essential daily activities. We therefore have developed a 2DOF exoskeleton robot (ExoRob) to rehabilitate the elbow and forearm movements of physically disabled individuals with impaired upper-limb function. The proposed ExoRob is supposed to be worn on the lateral side of forearm in order to provide naturalistic range movements of elbow (flexion/extension) and forearm (pronation/supination) motions. This paper focuses on the modelling, design (electrical and mechanical components), development, and control of the proposed ExoRob. The kinematic model of ExoRob has been developed based on modified Denavit-Hartenberg notations. Non-linear modified computed torque control technique is employed to control the proposed ExoRob, where trajectories (i.e., pre-programmed trajectories recommended by therapist/clinician) tracking corresponding to typical rehabilitation (passive) exercises has been carried out to evaluate the performances of the developed ExoRob and controller. Furthermore, experiments were carried out with the master exoskeleton arm [mExoArm, an upper-limb prototype 7DOF (lower scaled) exoskeleton arm] where subjects (robot users) or experimenter operate the mExoArm (like a joystick) to manoeuvre the proposed ExoRob to provide passive rehabilitation. Experimental results show that the controller is able to manoeuvre the ExoRob efficiently to track the desired trajectories. Such movements are widely used in rehabilitation and have been performed efficiently with the developed ExoRob and the controller.

Online publication date: Tue, 15-Nov-2011

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