Robotically assisted rehabilitation therapy, which is therapy performed using a robotic device that guides or assists motion and in some cases triggered by a biological signal (such as a myoelectric signal or brain signal) is effective in recovering motor function following impairment. In the field of rehabilitation robots and human support robot, exoskeleton robots have been widely studied both for upper and lower limbs. Applying the exoskeleton to a wrist joint remains challenging because the wrist has two degrees of freedom in a structure smaller than the structures of other upper and lower limb joints and the center of rotation moves according to motion owing to the complex anatomical structure. To tackle this problem, we developed a wrist exoskeleton mechanism that consists of two elastic elements that largely deform during motion in transmitting forces from two linear actuators implemented on the user's forearm and in transforming the forces to wrist flexion/extension and adduction/abduction. The advantages of the presented device are the device's compactness, low weight, and inherent flexibility due to the elastic structure. The present letter presents an overview of the newly developed wrist exoskeleton mechanism, prototype implementation, and preliminary mechanical evaluations. The technical verification of the exoskeleton revealed the feasibility of generating forces that can generate wrist flexion/extension and adduction/abduction movements.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- コンピュータ ビジョンおよびパターン認識
- コンピュータ サイエンスの応用