Kinematic design to improve ergonomics in human machine interaction.
ABSTRACT This paper introduces a novel kinematic design paradigm for ergonomic human machine interaction. Goals for optimal design are formulated generically and applied to the mechanical design of an upper-arm exoskeleton. A nine degree-of-freedom (DOF) model of the human arm kinematics is presented and used to develop, test, and optimize the kinematic structure of an human arm interfacing exoskeleton. The resulting device can interact with an unprecedented portion of the natural limb workspace, including motions in the shoulder-girdle, shoulder, elbow, and the wrist. The exoskeleton does not require alignment to the human joint axes, yet is able to actuate each DOF of our redundant limb unambiguously and without reaching into singularities. The device is comfortable to wear and does not create residual forces if misalignments exist. Implemented in a rehabilitation robot, the design features of the exoskeleton could enable longer lasting training sessions, training of fully natural tasks such as activities of daily living and shorter dress-on and dress-off times. Results from inter-subject experiments with a prototype are presented, that verify usability over the entire workspace of the human arm, including shoulder and shoulder girdle.
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ABSTRACT: The existing shortage of therapists and caregivers assisting physically disabled individuals at home isexpected to increase and become serious problem in the near future. The patient population needingphysical rehabilitation of the upper extremity is also constantly increasing. Robotic devices have thepotential to address this problem as noted by the results of recent research studies. However, theavailability of these devices in clinical settings is limited, leaving plenty of room for improvement.The purpose of this paper is to document a review of robotic devices for upper limb rehabilitationincluding those in developing phase in order to provide a comprehensive reference about existingsolutions and facilitate the development of new and improved devices. In particular the followingissues are discussed: application field, target group, type of assistance, mechanical design, controlstrategy and clinical evaluation. This paper also includes a comprehensive, tabulated comparison oftechnical solutions implemented in various systems.Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 01/2014; 11(1):3. · 2.57 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This paper discusses the reasons why evidence of clinical effectiveness is not enough to facilitate adequate adoption of robotic technologies for upper-limb neuro-rehabilitation. The paper also provides a short review of the state-of-the-art of these technologies. In particular, the paper highlights the barriers to the adoption of these technologies to the markets in which they are, or should be, deployed. On the other hand, the paper explores how low rates of adoption may depend on communication biases between the producers of the technologies and potential adopters. Finally, it is shown that, although technology-efficacy issues are usually well-documented, barriers to adoption also originate from the lack of solid evidence of the economic implications of the new technologies. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6718IEEE Reviews in Biomedical Engineering 01/2014;