Hostname: page-component-758b78586c-fxcbs Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-11-29T13:43:47.745Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

Development of a whole arm wearable robotic exoskeleton for rehabilitation and to assist upper limb movements

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 January 2014

M. H. Rahman*
Department of Electrical Engineering, École de Technologie Supérieure (ETS), Montréal, Canada School of Physical & Occupational Therapy, McGill University, Montréal, Canada
M. J. Rahman
Department of Electrical Engineering, École de Technologie Supérieure (ETS), Montréal, Canada
O. L. Cristobal
Department of Electrical Engineering, École de Technologie Supérieure (ETS), Montréal, Canada
M. Saad
Department of Electrical Engineering, École de Technologie Supérieure (ETS), Montréal, Canada
J. P. Kenné
Department of Electrical Engineering, École de Technologie Supérieure (ETS), Montréal, Canada
P. S. Archambault
School of Physical & Occupational Therapy, McGill University, Montréal, Canada Interdisciplinary Research Center in Rehabilitation (CRIR), Montréal, Canada
*Corresponding author. E-mail:


To assist physically disabled people with impaired upper limb function, we have developed a new 7-DOF exoskeleton-type robot named Motion Assistive Robotic-Exoskeleton for Superior Extremity (ETS-MARSE) to ease daily upper limb movements and to provide effective rehabilitation therapy to the superior extremity. The ETS-MARSE comprises a shoulder motion support part, an elbow and forearm motion support part, and a wrist motion support part. It is designed to be worn on the lateral side of the upper limb in order to provide naturalistic movements of the shoulder (vertical and horizontal flexion/extension and internal/external rotation), elbow (flexion/extension), forearm (pronation/supination), and wrist joint (radial/ulnar deviation and flexion/extension). This paper focuses on the modeling, design, development, and control of the ETS-MARSE. Experiments were carried out with healthy male human subjects in whom trajectory tracking in the form of passive rehabilitation exercises (i.e., pre-programmed trajectories recommended by a therapist/clinician) were carried out. Experimental results show that the ETS-MARSE can efficiently perform passive rehabilitation therapy.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


1.Rahman, M. H., Saad, M., Kenne, J. P. and Archambault, P. S., “Robot-assisted rehabilitation for elbow and forearm movements,” Int. J. Biomechatronics Biomed. Robot. 1 (4), 206218 (2011).Google Scholar
2.Rahman, M. H., Saad, M., Kenne, J. P. and Archambault, P. S., “Modeling and Development of an Exoskeleton Robot for Rehabilitation of Wrist Movements,” Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM 2010), Montreal, Canada (Jul. 6–9, 2010) pp. 2530.Google Scholar
3.Garrec, P., Friconneau, J. P., Measson, Y. and Perrot, Y., “ABLE, an innovative transparent exoskeleton for the upper-limb,” 2008 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Piscataway, NJ, (Sep. 22–26, 2008) pp. 14831488.Google Scholar
4.Li, J., Zheng, R., Zhang, Y. and Yao, J., “iHandRehab: An interactive hand exoskeleton for active and passive rehabilitation,” IEEE Int. Conf. Rehabil. Robot, 2011, 5975387 (2011) doi:10.1109/ICORR.2011.5975387.Google Scholar
5.Mackay, J. and Mensah, G., Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke (Nonserial Publication, World Health Organization, Brighton, UK, 2004).Google Scholar
6.Perry, J. C., Rosen, J. and Burns, S., “Upper-limb powered exoskeleton design,” IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatronics 12 (4), 408417 (2007).Google Scholar
7.Yupeng, R., Hyung-Soon, P. and Li-Qun, Z., “Developing a Whole-Arm Exoskeleton Robot with Hand Opening And Closing Mechanism for Upper Limb Stroke Rehabilitation,” 2009 IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics: Reaching Users & the Community (ICORR '09), Piscataway, NJ (Jun. 23–26, 2009) pp. 761765.Google Scholar
8.Parker, V. M., Wade, D. T. and Langton, H. R., “Loss of arm function after stroke: Measurement, frequency, and recovery,” Int. Rehabil. Med. 8 (2), 6973 (1986).Google Scholar
9.Frisoli, A., Salsedo, F., Bergamasco, M., Rossi, B. and Carboncini, M. C., “A force-feedback exoskeleton for upper-limb rehabilitation in virtual reality,” Appl. Bionics Biomech. 6 (2), 115126 (2009).Google Scholar
10.Kawasaki, H., Ito, S., Ishigure, Y., Nishimoto, Y., Aoki, T., Mouri, T., Sakaeda, H. and Abe, M., “Development of a Hand Motion Assist Robot for Rehabilitation Therapy by Patient Self-Motion Control,” 2007 IEEE 10th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR '07), Piscataway, NJ (Jun. 12–15, 2007) pp. 257263.Google Scholar
11.Gresham, G. E., Alexander, D., Bishop, D. S., Giuliani, C., Goldberg, G., Holland, A., Kelly-Hayes, M., Linn, R. T., Roth, E. J., Stason, W. B. and Trombly, C. A., “American Heart Association Prevention Conference. IV. Prevention and rehabilitation of stroke. Rehabilitation,” Stroke 28 (7), 15221526 (1997).Google Scholar
12.Tsagarakis, N. G. and Caldwell, D. G., “Development and control of a ‘soft-actuated’ exoskeleton for use in physiotherapy and training,” Auton. Robot. 15 (1), 2133 (2003).Google Scholar
13.Huang, H. C., Chung, K. C., Lai, D. C. and Sung, S. F., “The impact of timing and dose of rehabilitation delivery on functional recovery of stroke patients,” J. Chin. Med. Assoc. 72 (5), 257264 (2009).Google Scholar
14.Winstein, C. J., Merians, A. S. and Sullivan, K. J., “Motor learning after unilateral brain damage,” Neuropsychologia 37 (8), 975987 (1999).Google Scholar
15.Lewis, G. N. and Rosie, J. A., “Virtual reality games for movement rehabilitation in neurological conditions: How do we meet the needs and expectations of the users?Disabil. Rehabil. 34 (22), 18801886 (2012).Google Scholar
16.Mauro, D. A., “Virtual Reality-Based Rehabilitation and Game Technology,” 1st International Workshop on Engineering Interactive Computing Systems for Medicine and Health Care (EICS4Med) Pisa, Italy (June 13, 2011) pp. 4852.Google Scholar
17.Carignan, C., Tang, J. and Roderick, S., “Development of an Exoskeleton Haptic Interface for Virtual Task Training,” 2009 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2009), St. Louis, MO (Oct. 11–15, 2009) pp. 36973702.Google Scholar
18.Cameirao, M., Badia, S., Oller, E. and Verschure, P., “Neurorehabilitation using the virtual reality based rehabilitation gaming system: Methodology, design, psychometrics, usability and validation,” J. NeuroEng. Rehabil. 7 (1), 48 (2010).Google Scholar
19.Gupta, A. and O'Malley, M. K., “Design of a haptic arm exoskeleton for training and rehabilitation,” IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatronics 11 (3), 280289 (2006).Google Scholar
20.Winstein, C. J., Miller, J. P., Blanton, S., Taub, E., Uswatte, G., Morris, D., Nichols, D. and Wolf, S., “Methods for a multisite randomized trial to investigate the effect of constraint-induced movement therapy in improving upper extremity function among adults recovering from a cerebrovascular stroke,” Neurorehabil. Neural. Repair 17 (3), 137152 (2003).Google Scholar
21.Lum, P. S., Burgar, C. G. and Shor, P. C., “Evidence for improved muscle activation patterns after retraining of reaching movements with the MIME robotic system in subjects with post-stroke hemiparesis,” IEEE Trans. Neural Syst. Rehabil. Eng. 12 (2), 186194 (2004).Google Scholar
22.Loureiro, R., Amirabdollahian, F., Topping, M., Driessen, B. and Harwin, W., “Upper limb robot mediated stroke therapy – GENTLE/s approach,” Auton. Robot. 15 (1), 3551 (2003).Google Scholar
23.Prange, G. B., Jannink, M. J., Groothuis-Oudshoorn, C. G., Hermens, H. J. and M. Ijzerman, J., “Systematic review of the effect of robot-aided therapy on recovery of the hemiparetic arm after stroke,” J. Rehabil. Res. Dev. 43 (2), 171184 (2006).Google Scholar
24.Krebs, H. I., Volpe, B. T., Aisen, M. L. and Hogan, N., “Increasing productivity and quality of care: Robot-aided neuro-rehabilitation,” J. Rehabil. Res. Dev. 37 (6), 639652 (2000).Google Scholar
25.Brose, S. W., Weber, D. J., Salatin, B. A., Grindle, G. G., Wang, H., Vazquez, J. J. and Cooper, R. A., “The role of assistive robotics in the lives of persons with disability,” Am. J. Phys. Med. Rehabil. 89 (6), 509521 (2010).Google Scholar
26.Culmer, P. R., Jackson, A. E., Makower, S., Richardson, R., Cozens, J. A., Levesley, M. C. and Bhakta, B. B., “A control strategy for upper limb robotic rehabilitation with a dual robot system,” IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatronics 15 (4), 575585 (2010).Google Scholar
27.Takahashi, C. D., Der-Yeghiaian, L., Le, V., Motiwala, R. R. and Cramer, S. C., “Robot-based hand motor therapy after stroke,” Brain 131 (Pt 2), 425437 (2008).Google Scholar
28.Masia, L., Krebs, H. I., Cappa, P. and Hogan, N., “Design and characterization of hand module for whole-arm rehabilitation following stroke,” IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatronics 12 (4), 399407 (2007).Google Scholar
29.Nagai, K., Nakanishi, I., Hanafusa, H., Kawamura, S., Makikawa, M. and Tejima, N., “Development of an 8-DOF Robotic Orthosis for Assisting Human Upper Limb Motion,” 1998 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Leuven, Belgium (1998) pp. 34863491.Google Scholar
30.Gopura, R. A. R. C., Kiguchi, K. and Yang, L., “SUEFUL-7: A 7-DOF Upper-Limb Exoskeleton Robot with Muscle-Model-Oriented EMG-Based Control,” 2009 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2009), Piscataway, NJ (Oct. 11–15, 2009) pp. 11261131.Google Scholar
31.Homma, K. and Arai, T., “Design of an Upper Limb Motion Assist System with Parallel Mechanism,” Proceedings of the 1995 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. Part 1 (of 3), Nagoya, Japan (May 21–27, 1995) pp. 13021307.Google Scholar
32.Noritsugu, T. and Tanaka, T., “Application of rubber artificial muscle manipulator as a rehabilitation robot,” IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatronics 2 (4), 259267 (1997).Google Scholar
33.Nef, T., Guidali, M. and Riener, R., “ARMin III – Arm therapy exoskeleton with an ergonomic shoulder actuation,” Applied Bionics Biomechanics 6 (2), 127142 (2009).Google Scholar
34.Johnson, G. R. and Buckley, M. A., “Development of a New Motorised Upper Limb Orthotic System (MULOS),” Proceedings of RESNA '97. Lets Tango – Partnering People and Technologies, Arlington, VA (Jun. 20–24, 1997) pp. 399401.Google Scholar
35.Sanchez, R. J., Wolbrecht, E., Smith, R., Liu, J., Rao, S., Cramer, S., Rahman, T., Bobrow, J. E. and Reinkensmeyer, D. J., “A Pneumatic Robot for Re-Training Arm Movement After Stroke: Rationale and Mechanical Design,” International Conference on Rehabilitation Robot (2005) pp. 500–504.Google Scholar
36.Krebs, H. I., Volpe, B. T., Williams, D., Celestino, J., Charles, S. K., Lynch, D. and Hogan, N., “Robot-aided neurorehabilitation: A robot for wrist rehabilitation,” IEEE Trans. Neural Syst. Rehabil. Eng. 15 (3), 327335 (2007).Google Scholar
37.Tóth, A., Arz, G., Fazekas, G., Bratanov, D. and Zlatov, N., “Post-Stroke Shoulder-Elbow Physiotherapy with Industrial Robots,” In: Advances in Rehabilitation Robotics, Human-Friendly Technologies on Movement Assistance and Restoration for People with Disabilities (Bien, Z., et al. eds.) (Springer, Berlin, Germany, 2004) pp. 391411.Google Scholar
38.Lucas, L., DiCicco, M. and Matsuoka, Y., “An EMG-controlled hand exoskeleton for natural pinching,” J. Robot. Mechatronics 16 (5), 482488 (2004).Google Scholar
39.Kiguchi, K., Rahman, M. H. and Sasaki, M., “Neuro-Fuzzy Based Motion Control of a Robotic Exoskeleton: Considering End-Effector Force Vectors,” Proceedings of the IEEE 2006 Conference on International Robotics and Automation, Orlando, FL (May 15–19, 2006) pp. 31463148.Google Scholar
40.Brigham & Women's Hospital, “Physical therapy standards,” Available at: Accessed January 19, 2014 (Jul. 7, 2011), online.Google Scholar
41.Reinkensmeyer, D. J., Dewald, J. P. A. and Rymer, W. Z., “Guidance-based quantification of arm impairment following brain injury: A pilot study,” IEEE Trans. Rehabil. Eng 7 (1), 111 (1999).Google Scholar
42.National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Post-Stroke Rehabilitation Fact Sheet (NINDS, National Institutes of Health Bethesda, MD, 2011).Google Scholar
43.University of Virginia Health System, Spine Centre, Nonoperative Treatment: Physical Therapy (VCU Health System, Richmond, VA, 2011).Google Scholar
44.Burgar, C. G., Lum, P. S., Shor, P. C. and Van der Loos, H. F. M., “Development of robots for rehabilitation therapy: The Palo Alto VA/Stanford experience,” J. Rehabil. Res. Dev. 37 (6), 663673 (2000).Google Scholar
45.Mahoney, R. M., Loos, H. F. M. V. D., Lum, P. S. and Burgar, C., “Robotic stroke therapy assistant,” Robotica 21 (1), 3344 (2003).Google Scholar
46.Hamilton, N., Weimar, W. and Luttgens, K., Kinesiology: Scientific Basis of Human Motion, XI ed. (McGraw-Hill, Boston, MA, 2008), xv + 627 pp.Google Scholar
47.Carignan, C., Liszka, M. and Roderick, S., “Design of an Arm Exoskeleton with Scapula Motion for Shoulder Rehabilitation,” Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Advanced Robotics (ICAR '05) (Jul. 18–20, 2005) pp. 524–531.Google Scholar
48.Craig, J. J., Introduction to Robotics: Mechanics and Control (Pearson/Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2005) viii + 400 pp.Google Scholar
49.Hallaceli, H., Manisali, M. and Gunal, I., “Does scapular elevation accompany glenohumeral abduction in healthy subjects?Arch. Orthop. Trauma Surg. 124 (6), 378381 (2004).Google Scholar
50.Siciliano, B., Sciavicco, L. and Villani, L., Robotics: Modelling, Planning and Control (Springer, London, 2009) 666 pp.Google Scholar
51.Murray, K., “Stroke Rehab Exercises,” available at: Accessed January 19, 2014 (2010), online.Google Scholar