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J Biomech Eng. 1993 Aug;115(3):211-7.

The use of robotics technology to study human joint kinematics: a new methodology.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, PA 15213.


Robotics technologies have been modified to control and measure both the force and position of synovial joints for the study of joint kinematics. One such system was developed to perform kinematic testing of a human joint. A 6-axis articulated robotic manipulator with 6 degrees of freedom (DOF) of motion was designed and constructed; a mathematical description for joint force and position was devised; and hardware and software to control forces applied to the joint, as well as position of the joint, were developed. The new methodology was utilized to simulate physiological loading conditions and to perform an anterior-posterior (A-P) translation test on a human cadaveric knee. Testing showed that this new system can stimulate complex loading conditions and also measure the resulting joint kinematics.

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