A Damper Driven Robotic End-Point Manipulator for Functional Rehabilitation Exercises After Stroke

Ard Westerveld, Benno Aalderink, B.J. Aalderink, W. Hagedoorn, M. Buijze, Alfred Christiaan Schouten, Herman van der Kooij

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28 Citations (Scopus)
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Stroke survivors may benefit from robotic assistance for relearning of functional movements. Current assistive devices are either passive, limited to only two dimensions or very powerful. However, for reach training, weight compensation and a little assistance with limited power is sufficient. We designed and evaluated a novel three-dimensional robotic manipulator, which is able to support the arm weight and assist functional reaching movements. Key points of the design are a damper-based drive train, giving an inherently safe system and its compact and lightweight design. The system is force actuated with a bandwidth of up to 2.3 Hz, which is sufficient for functional arm movements. Maximal assistive forces are 15 N for the up/down and forward/backward directions and 10 N for the left/right direction. Force tracking errors are smaller than 1.5 N for all axes and the total weight of the robot is 25 kg. Furthermore, the device has shown its benefit for increasing reaching distance in a single-case study with a stroke subject. The newly developed system has the technical ability to assist the arm during movement, which is a prerequisite for successful training of stroke survivors. Therapeutic effects of the applied assistance need to be further evaluated. However, with its inherent safety and ease of use, this newly developed system even has the potential for home-based therapeutic training after stroke.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2646-2654
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE transactions on biomedical engineering
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • IR-97552
  • METIS-308045


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