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Design and Validation of a Rehabilitation Robotic Exoskeleton for Tremor Assessment and Suppression

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6 Author(s)
E. Rocon ; Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Madrid ; J. M. Belda-Lois ; A. F. Ruiz ; M. Manto
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Exoskeletons are mechatronic systems worn by a person in such a way that the physical interface permits a direct transfer of mechanical power and exchange of information. Upper limb robotic exoskeletons may be helpful for people with disabilities and/or limb weakness or injury. Tremor is the most common movement disorder in neurological practice. In addition to medication, rehabilitation programs, and deep brain stimulation, biomechanical loading has appeared as a potential tremor suppression alternative. This paper introduces the robotic exoskeleton called WOTAS (wearable orthosis for tremor assessment and suppression) that provides a means of testing and validating nongrounded control strategies for orthotic tremor suppression. This paper describes in detail the general concept for WOTAS, outlining the special features of the design and selection of system components. Two control strategies developed for tremor suppression with exoskeletons are described. These two strategies are based on biomechanical loading and notch Altering the tremor through the application of internal forces. Results from experiments using these two strategies on patients with tremor are summarized. Finally, results from clinical trials are presented, which indicate the feasibility of ambulatory mechanical

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IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 3 )