Development of a wearable assistive soft robotic device for elbow rehabilitation
Oguntosin, V., Harwin, W. S., Kawamura, S., Nasuto, S. J. and Hayashi, Y. (2015) Development of a wearable assistive soft robotic device for elbow rehabilitation. In: The 2015 ICORR 11th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, 11-14 Aug 2015, Singapore, pp. 747-752.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ICORR.2015.7281291
The loss of motor function at the elbow joint can result as a consequence of stroke. Stroke is a clinical illness resulting in long lasting neurological deficits often affecting somatosensory and motor cortices. More than half of those that recover from a stroke survive with disability in their upper arm and need rehabilitation therapy to help in regaining functions of daily living. In this paper, we demonstrated a prototype of a low-cost, ultra-light and wearable soft robotic assistive device that could aid administration of elbow motion therapies to stroke patients. In order to assist the rotation of the elbow joint, the soft modules which consist of soft wedge-like cellular units was inflated by air to produce torque at the elbow joint. Highly compliant rotation can be naturally realised by the elastic property of soft silicone and pneumatic control of air. Based on the direct visual-actuation control, a higher control loop utilised visual processing to apply positional control, the lower control loop was implemented by an electronic circuit to achieve the desired pressure of the soft modules by Pulse Width Modulation. To examine the functionality of the proposed soft modular system, we used an anatomical model of the upper limb and performed the experiments with healthy participants.