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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2018

Wencheng Ni, Hui Li, Zhihong Jiang, Bainan Zhang and Qiang Huang

The purpose of this paper is to design an exoskeleton robot and present a corresponding rehabilitation training method for patients in different rehabilitation stages.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to design an exoskeleton robot and present a corresponding rehabilitation training method for patients in different rehabilitation stages.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a lightweight seven-degrees-of-freedom (DOF) cable-driven exoskeleton robot that is wearable and adjustable. After decoupling joint movement caused by a cable-driven mechanism, active rehabilitation training mode and passive rehabilitation training mode are proposed to improve the effect of rehabilitation training.

Findings

Simulations and experiments have been carried out, and the results validated the feasibility of the proposed mechanism and methods by a fine rehabilitative effect with different persons.

Originality/value

This paper designed a 7-DOF cable-driven exoskeleton robot that is suitable for patients of different body measurements and proposed the active rehabilitation training mode and passive rehabilitation training mode based on the cable-driven exoskeleton robot.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 September 2019

Leiyu Zhang, Jianfeng Li, Shuting Ji, Peng Su, Chunjing Tao and Run Ji

Upper-limb joint kinematics are highly complex and the kinematics of rehabilitation exoskeletons fail to reproduce them, resulting in hyperstaticity and human–machine…

Abstract

Purpose

Upper-limb joint kinematics are highly complex and the kinematics of rehabilitation exoskeletons fail to reproduce them, resulting in hyperstaticity and human–machine incompatibility. The purpose of this paper is to design and develop a compatible exoskeleton robot (Co-Exos II) to address these problems.

Design/methodology/approach

The configuration synthesis of Co-Exos II is completed using advanced mechanism theory. A compatible configuration is selected and four passive joints are introduced into the connecting interfaces based on optimal configuration principles. A Co-Exos II prototype with nine degrees of freedom (DOFs) is developed and still owns a compact structure and volume. A new approach is presented to compensate the vertical glenohumeral (GH) movements. Co-Exos II and the upper arm are simplified as a guide-bar mechanism at the elevating plane. The theoretical displacements of passive joints are calculated by the kinematic model of the shoulder loop. The compatible experiments are completed to measure the kinematics of passive joints.

Findings

The compatible configuration of the passive joints can effectively reduce the gravity influences of the exoskeleton device and the upper extremities. The passive joints exhibit excellent compensation effect for the GH joint movements by comparing the theoretical and measured results. Passive joints can compensate for most GH movements, especially vertical movements.

Originality/value

Co-Exos II possesses good human–machine compatibility and wearable comfort for the affected upper limbs. The proposed compensation method is convenient to therapists and stroke patients during the rehabilitation trainings.

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Matt Simkins, Nancy Byl, Hyunchul Kim, Gary Abrams and Jacob Rosen

– The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the physiotherapeutic benefits of bilateral symmetric training (BST) for stroke survivors affected by hemiparesis.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the physiotherapeutic benefits of bilateral symmetric training (BST) for stroke survivors affected by hemiparesis.

Design/methodology/approach

Other studies have investigated symmetric physiotherapy. A key difficulty in previous work is in maintaining mirror-imaged trajectories between the affected and less-affected limbs. This obstacle was overcome in this work by using a two-armed robotic exoskeleton to enforce symmetry. In total, 15 subjects, > 6 months post stroke were, randomly assigned to bilateral symmetric robotic training, unilateral robotic training, and standard physical therapy.

Findings

After 12 training sessions (90 minutes/session), the bilateral training group had the greatest intensity of movement training. They also had the greatest improvement in range of motion at the shoulder. The unilateral training group showed the greatest reduction in spasticity.

Research limitations/implications

The rationale for symmetric physiotherapy is that it might promote connections from the undamaged brain hemisphere. The robot generated copious amounts of detailed kinematic data. Even though these data provided insights into the human to machine interface using different training modalities, it proved difficult to draw neurological conclusions. It is recommended that future research along these lines should include measures of neurophysiological change and/or changes in neurological activity.

Practical implications

This research suggests that the advantage of bilateral symmetric movement over other modalities is slight, and that robotic training has comparable results with standard care. If BST is used, care is potentially needed to avoid exacerbation of spasticity. Finally, this research includes a novel quantitative approach for evaluating robotic training.

Originality/value

This study is of value to therapeutic researchers interested in new physiotherapy techniques, roboticists interested in developing rehabilitation devices, or for rehabilitation game designers interested in using virtual reality.

Details

International Journal of Intelligent Computing and Cybernetics, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-378X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 June 2021

Ru Han and Sumin Helen Koo

This research was to understand people's perceptions and trends in wearable robots and the research questions were as follows: (1) investigating key terms related to…

Abstract

Purpose

This research was to understand people's perceptions and trends in wearable robots and the research questions were as follows: (1) investigating key terms related to wearable robots that were frequently used by and exposed to people and (2) analyzing relationships among those key terms.

Design/methodology/approach

Textom, a big data collection and analysis software system, was used to collect data using the keyword – wearable robot.

Findings

The frequency-inverse document frequency, term frequency and central analyses were investigated, and the major key terms related to wearable robots and their connectivity were identified. After performing network analysis and convergence of iterated correlations analyses using UCINET and NetDraw programs, the major key term categories were identified.

Originality/value

It is important to understand how people think and perceive about wearable robots before developing wearable robots. The results of the research are expected to be helpful to better understand how people perceive and what key terms are mainly discussed by people in both countries and ultimately help when developing wearable robots with better market targeting approach methods.

Details

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-6222

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2013

Riaan Stopforth

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the mechanical, kinematic and biological aspects that would be required for a customized upper limb exoskeleton prototype operation.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the mechanical, kinematic and biological aspects that would be required for a customized upper limb exoskeleton prototype operation.

Design/methodology/approach

The research contained a literature survey, design, simulation, development and testing of an exoskeleton arm.

Findings

An adjustable/customizable exoskeleton arm was developed with a kinematic model to allow the desired motion. Tests were performed to determine the feasibility of the system.

Originality/value

The paper shows how the authors researched, designed and developed an exoskeleton arm that had similar mechanical properties to those of a biological arm. The exoskeleton must allow customization and be adaptable to the operator, without the need for major alterations.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 40 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2020

Yassine Bouteraa, Ismail Ben Abdallah and Ahmed Elmogy

The purpose of this paper is to design and develop a new robotic device for the rehabilitation of the upper limbs. The authors are focusing on a new symmetrical robot…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to design and develop a new robotic device for the rehabilitation of the upper limbs. The authors are focusing on a new symmetrical robot which can be used to rehabilitate the right upper limb and the left upper limb. The robotic arm can be automatically extended or reduced depending on the measurements of the patient's arm. The main idea is to integrate electrical stimulation into motor rehabilitation by robot. The goal is to provide automatic electrical stimulation based on muscle status during the rehabilitation process.

Design/methodology/approach

The developed robotic arm can be automatically extended or reduced depending on the measurements of the patient's arm. The system merges two rehabilitation strategies: motor rehabilitation and electrical stimulation. The goal is to take the advantages of both approaches. Electrical stimulation is often used for building muscle through endurance, resistance and strength exercises. However, in the proposed approach the electrical stimulation is used for recovery, relaxation and pain relief. In addition, the device includes an electromyography (EMG) muscle sensor that records muscle activity in real time. The control architecture provides the ability to automatically activate the appropriate stimulation mode based on the acquired EMG signal. The system software provides two modes for stimulation activation: the manual preset mode and the EMG driven mode. The program ensures traceability and provides the ability to issue a patient status monitoring report.

Findings

The developed robotic device is symmetrical and reconfigurable. The presented rehabilitation system includes a muscle stimulator associated with the robot to improve the quality of the rehabilitation process. The integration of neuromuscular electrical stimulation into the physical rehabilitation process offers effective rehabilitation sessions for neuromuscular recovery of the upper limb. A laboratory-made stimulator is developed to generate three modes of stimulation: pain relief, massage and relaxation. Through the control software interface, the physiotherapist can set the exercise movement parameters, define the stimulation mode and record the patient training in real time.

Research limitations/implications

There are certain constraints when applying the proposed method, such as the sensitivity of the acquired EMG signals. This involves the use of professional equipment and mainly the implementation of sophisticated algorithms for signal extraction.

Practical implications

Functional electrical stimulation and robot-based motor rehabilitation are the most important technologies applied in post-stroke rehabilitation. The main objective of integrating robots into the rehabilitation process is to compensate for the functions lost in people with physical disabilities. The stimulation technique can be used for recovery, relaxation and drainage and pain relief. In this context, the idea is to integrate electrical stimulation into motor rehabilitation based on a robot to obtain the advantages of the two approaches to further improve the rehabilitation process. The introduction of this type of robot also makes it possible to develop new exciting assistance devices.

Originality/value

The proposed design is symmetrical, reconfigurable and light, covering all the joints of the upper limbs and their movements. In addition, the developed platform is inexpensive and a portable solution based on open source hardware platforms which opens the way to more extensions and developments. Electrical stimulation is often used to improve motor function and restore loss of function. However, the main objective behind the proposed stimulation in this paper is to recover after effort. The novelty of the proposed solution is to integrate the electrical stimulation powered by EMG in robotic rehabilitation.

Details

Industrial Robot: the international journal of robotics research and application, vol. 47 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 May 2019

Hansong Wang, Canjun Yang, Wei Yang, Meiying Deng, Zhangyi Ma and Qianxiao Wei

Most current lower extremity exoskeletons emphasize assistance for walking rather than stability. The purpose of this paper is to propose a rehabilitation gait based on…

Abstract

Purpose

Most current lower extremity exoskeletons emphasize assistance for walking rather than stability. The purpose of this paper is to propose a rehabilitation gait based on the transfer of gravity center to improve the balance of exoskeleton rehabilitation training of the hemiplegic patients in the frontal plane, reducing the dependence on crutches/walking frames.

Design/methodology/approach

The real-time and predictable instability factors of human and exoskeleton system (HES) are analyzed. Inspired by the walking balance strategy of the blind, a rehabilitation gait based on the transfer of gravity center is proposed and studied by modeling and experimental test and is finally applied to the prototype – Zhejiang University lower extremity exoskeleton (ZJULEEX) – to verify its feasibility.

Findings

At least three real-time and predictable factors cause the instability of HES, and the factor of lateral tilt caused by gravity should be focused in the balance control of frontal plane. With the proposed gait, the hip height of stepping leg of HES does not reduce obviously even when the crutches do not work, which can improve the balance of HES.

Research limitations/implications

However, the rehabilitation gait control needs to be more complete and intelligent to response to other types of perturbations to further improve the balance of HES. In addition, more clinical trials should be conducted to evaluate the effect of the proposed gait.

Social implications

May bring happiness to the rehabilitation of patients with hemiplegia.

Originality/value

The rehabilitation gait based on the transfer of gravity center to improve the balance of HES is first proposed and applied to HES.

Details

Industrial Robot: the international journal of robotics research and application, vol. 46 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 24 April 2018

Robert Bogue

This paper aims to provide an insight into the emerging use of robots in the rehabilitation of sufferers from strokes and other neurological impediments.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide an insight into the emerging use of robots in the rehabilitation of sufferers from strokes and other neurological impediments.

Design/methodology/approach

This considers research, clinical trials and commercial products. Following an introduction, it explains brain neuroplasticity and its role in rehabilitation and then discusses the use of robots in the restoration of upper limb and hand movement in stroke and traumatic injury patients. Robotic techniques aimed at restoring ambulatory ability are then discussed, followed by examples of the application of brain–computer interface technology to robotic rehabilitation. Finally, concluding comments are drawn.

Findings

Research has shown that robotic techniques can assist in the restoration of functionality to partially or fully paralysed upper and lower limbs. A growing number of commercial exoskeleton and end-effector robotic products have been launched which are augmenting conventional rehabilitation therapies. These systems frequently include interactive computer games and tasks which encourage repetitive use and allow patients to monitor their progress. Trials which combine robotics with brain–computer interface technology have yielded encouraging and unexpectedly positive results.

Originality/value

This provides details of the increasingly important role played by robots in the rehabilitation of patients suffering from strokes and other neurological disorders.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 45 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2009

Caihua Xiong, Xianzhi Jiang, Ronglei Sun, XiaoLin Huang and Youlun Xiong

The purpose of this paper is to present the control methods of the exoskeleton robotic arm for stroke rehabilitation.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the control methods of the exoskeleton robotic arm for stroke rehabilitation.

Design/methodology/approach

The robotic arm is driven by the pneumatic muscle actuators. The control system provides independent control for the robot. The joint axes of the robotic arm are arranged to mimic the natural upper limb workspace.

Findings

Findings are the classification of training modes and control methods of rehabilitation training, and the characters of both the instant spasm and the sustaining one.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is a preliminary step in the control system and the kinematical characteristics should be analyzed to achieve high precision of movement.

Originality/value

Based on a hierarchical structure, the control system allows the execution of sequence of switching control methods: position, force, force/position and impedance. Patient‐active‐robot‐passive and patient‐passive‐robot‐active (PPRA) training modes are also presented in this paper. In PPRA mode, the robotic arm can provide pre‐specified resistances on the patient's arm. Both instant and sustaining spasms are taken into account for safety.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 25 October 2019

Fuhai Zhang, Legeng Lin, Lei Yang and Yili Fu

The purpose of this paper is to propose a variable impedance control method of finger exoskeleton for hand rehabilitation using the contact forces between the finger and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a variable impedance control method of finger exoskeleton for hand rehabilitation using the contact forces between the finger and the exoskeleton, making the output trajectory of finger exoskeleton comply with the natural flexion-extension (NFE) trajectory accurately and adaptively.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a variable impedance control method based on fuzzy neural network (FNN). The impedance control system sets the contact forces and joint angles collected by sensors as input. Then it uses the offline-trained FNN system to acquire the impedance parameters in real time, thus realizing tracking the NFE trajectory. K-means clustering method is applied to construct FNN, which can obtain the number of fuzzy rules automatically.

Findings

The results of simulations and experiments both show that the finger exoskeleton has an accurate output trajectory and an adaptive performance on three subjects with different physiological parameters. The variable impedance control system can drive the finger exoskeleton to comply with the NFE trajectory accurately and adaptively using the continuously changing contact forces.

Originality/value

The finger is regarded as a part of the control system to get the contact forces between finger and exoskeleton, and the impedance parameters can be updated in real time to make the output trajectory comply with the NFE trajectory accurately and adaptively during the rehabilitation.

Details

Industrial Robot: the international journal of robotics research and application, vol. 47 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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