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Med Eng Phys. 2016 Nov;38(11):1279-1288. doi: 10.1016/j.medengphy.2016.09.001. Epub 2016 Sep 29.

Hybrid robotic systems for upper limb rehabilitation after stroke: A review.

Author information

Neural Rehabilitation Group, Cajal Institute, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:
Motion Analysis, Ergonomics, Biomechanics and Motor Control Laboratory (LAMBECOM), Faculty of Health Sciences, Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid, Spain.
Neural Rehabilitation Group, Cajal Institute, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Madrid, Spain.
Universidad Católica "Nuestra Señora de la Asunción", Department of Electronic and Informatic Engineering, Asunción, Paraguay.


In recent years the combined use of functional electrical stimulation (FES) and robotic devices, called hybrid robotic rehabilitation systems, has emerged as a promising approach for rehabilitation of lower and upper limb motor functions. This paper presents a review of the state of the art of current hybrid robotic solutions for upper limb rehabilitation after stroke. For this aim, studies have been selected through a search using web databases: IEEE-Xplore, Scopus and PubMed. A total of 10 different hybrid robotic systems were identified, and they are presented in this paper. Selected systems are critically compared considering their technological components and aspects that form part of the hybrid robotic solution, the proposed control strategies that have been implemented, as well as the current technological challenges in this topic. Additionally, we will present and discuss the corresponding evidences on the effectiveness of these hybrid robotic therapies. The review also discusses the future trends in this field.


Functional electrical stimulation; Hybrid technology; Rehabilitation; Robotics; Stroke; Upper limb

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