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Pneumatic impedance control of a 3-d.o.f. physiotherapy robot

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Stroke is a common condition resulting in 30 000 people per annum left with significant disability. In patients with severe arm paresis after stroke, functional recovery in the affected arm is poor. Inadequate intensity of treatment is cited as one factor accounting for the lack arm recovery found in some studies. Given that physical therapy resource is limited, strategies to enhance the physiotherapists' efforts are needed. One approach is to use robotic techniques to augment movement therapy. A 3-d.o.f. pneumatic robot has been developed to apply physiotherapy to the upper limb. The robot has been designed with a workspace encompassing the reach-retrieve range of the average male. Slight non-linearities in the response of the pneumatic system are observed and explained. Building upon previous work that used an error-prone custom force sensor, a commercial 6-d.o.f. force sensor is used to apply impedance control in 3 d.o.f. on the robot.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2006-12-01

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