Optimization and design of a cable driven upper arm exoskeleton

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Authors: Agrawal, S.K., Dubey, V.N., Gangloff, J.J., Brackbill, E. and Sangwan, V.

Journal: Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference

Volume: 7

Issue: PARTS A AND B

Pages: 3-10

DOI: 10.1115/DETC2009-86516

This paper presents the design of a wearable upper arm exoskeleton that can be used to assist and train arm movements of stroke survivors or subjects with weak musculature. In the last ten years, a number of upper-arm training devices have emerged. However, due to their size and weight, their use is restricted to clinics and research laboratories. Our proposed wearable exoskeleton builds upon our extensive research experience in wire driven manipulators and design of rehabilitative systems. The exoskeleton consists of three main parts: (i) an inverted U-shaped cuff that rests on the shoulder, (ii) a cuff on the upper arm, and (iii) a cuff on the forearm. Six motors, mounted on the shoulder cuff, drive the cuffs on the upper arm and forearm, using cables. In order to assess the performance of this exoskeleton, prior to use on humans, a laboratory test-bed has been developed where this exoskeleton is mounted on a model skeleton, instrumented with sensors to measure joint angles and transmitted forces to the shoulder. This paper describes design details of the exoskeleton and addresses the key issue of parameter optimization to achieve useful workspace based on kinematic and kinetic models. Copyright © 2009 by ASME.

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