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Decoupled, Wearable Soft Robotic Rehabilitation Device for the Upper Limb
  • +1
  • James Greig,
  • Mhairi Mcinnes,
  • Edward Chadwick,
  • Maria Elena Giannaccini
James Greig

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Mhairi Mcinnes
Edward Chadwick
Maria Elena Giannaccini

Abstract

Lightweight, safe, adjustable and affordable wearable devices could be crucial for effective robotassisted rehabilitation that reduce compound pressures on hospitals and social care. Despite recent developments in soft active wearable robots, many of these devices restrict motion, are difficult to wear and lack quantitative data that characterises their safety for physical human-robot interaction. In this study, we designed a wearable device for upper limb rehabilitation that due to its decoupled design delivers full range of motion to the user 132 ±13 degrees, is easy to wear and only needs minimal adjustments to fit different anatomies. 82% of the moment produced by the actuator is transferred to the wearer. We show that the device was able to generate a moment of 4.79 ±0.19 Nm for the elbow flexion angle of 70 degrees, exceeding the requirements for typical activities of daily living. Human participant studies show the device successfully assisting the flexion movement and its potential in the rehabilitation of stroke survivors. This research paves the way for safe pneumatic soft robotic wearable devices that are adaptable to large cohorts, allowing their widespread adoption in healthcare and use in real life scenarios.
08 Jan 2024Submitted to TechRxiv
10 Jan 2024Published in TechRxiv