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IEEE Int Conf Rehabil Robot. 2011;2011:5975428. doi: 10.1109/ICORR.2011.5975428.

Mechanical design of a distal arm exoskeleton for stroke and spinal cord injury rehabilitation.

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  • 1Mechatronics and Haptic Interfaces Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, USA.


Robotic rehabilitation has gained significant traction in recent years, due to the clinical demonstration of its efficacy in restoring function for upper extremity movements and locomotor skills, demonstrated primarily in stroke populations. In this paper, we present the design of MAHI Exo II, a robotic exoskeleton for the rehabilitation of upper extremity after stroke, spinal cord injury, or other brain injuries. The five degree-of-freedom robot enables elbow flexion-extension, forearm pronation-supination, wrist flexion-extension, and radial-ulnar deviation. The device offers several significant design improvements compared to its predecessor, MAHI Exo I. Specifically, issues with backlash and singularities in the wrist mechanism have been resolved, torque output has been increased in the forearm and elbow joints, a passive degree of freedom has been added to allow shoulder abduction thereby improving alignment especially for users who are wheelchair-bound, and the hardware now enables simplified and fast swapping of treatment side. These modifications are discussed in the paper, and results for the range of motion and maximum torque output capabilities of the new design and its predecessor are presented. The efficacy of the MAHI Exo II will soon be validated in a series of clinical evaluations with both stroke and spinal cord injury patients.

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