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Volume 44 Number 1 2007
Pages 43 — 62


Abstract - Dynamic biomechanical model for assessing and monitoring robot-assisted upper-limb therapy

Hussein A. Abdullah, PhD, PEng;* Cole Tarry, BSc; Rahul Datta, BSc; Gauri S. Mittal, PhD, PEng; Mohamed Abderrahim, PhD

School of Engineering, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada
Abstract — This article describes the design, validation, and application of a dynamic biomechanical model that assesses and monitors trajectory, position, orientation, force, and torque generated by upper-limb (UL) movement during robot-assisted therapy. The model consists of two links that represent the upper arm and forearm, with 5 degrees of freedom (DOF) for the shoulder and elbow joints. The model is a useful tool for enhancing the functionality of poststroke robot-assisted UL therapy. The individualized inertial segment parameters were based on anthropometric measurements. The model performed inverse dynamic analysis of UL movements to calculate reaction forces and moments acting about the 3-DOF shoulder and 2-DOF elbow joints. Real-time fused biofeedback of a 6-DOF force sensor and three-dimensional (3-D) pose sensors supported the model validation and application. The force sensor was mounted between the robot manipulator and the subject's wrist, while the 3-D pose sensors were fixed at specific positions on the subject's UL segments. The model input and output parameters were stored in the subject's database, which is part of the rehabilitation information system. We assigned 20 nondisabled subjects three different therapy exercises to test and validate the biomechanical model. We found that when the biomechanical model is taught an exercise, it can accurately predict a subject's actual UL joint angles and torques and confirm that the exercise is isolating the desired movement.
Key words: biomechanical model, inverse dynamics, kinematics, limb impairment, motion analysis, rehabilitation, robot-assisted therapy, stroke, therapeutic robot, upper limb.

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