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We have been developing an exoskeleton robot (ExoRob) for assisting daily upper limb movements (i.e., shoulder, elbow and wrist). In this paper we have focused on the development of a 2DOF ExoRob to rehabilitate elbow joint flexion/extension and shoulder joint internal/external rotation, as a step toward the development of a complete (i.e., 3DOF) shoulder motion assisted exoskeleton robot. The proposed ExoRob is designed to be worn on the lateral side of the upper arm in order to provide naturalistic movements at the level of elbow (flexion/extension) and shoulder joint internal/external rotation. This paper also focuses on the modeling and control of the proposed ExoRob. A kinematic model of ExoRob has been developed based on modified Denavit-Hartenberg notations. In dynamic simulations of the proposed ExoRob, a novel nonlinear sliding mode control technique with exponential reaching law and computed torque control technique is employed, where trajectory tracking that corresponds to typical rehab (passive) exercises has been carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of the developed model and controller. Simulated results show that the controller is able to drive the ExoRob efficiently to track the desired trajectories, which in this case consisted in passive arm movements. Such movements are used in rehabilitation and could be performed very efficiently with the developed ExoRob and the controller. Experiments were carried out to validate the simulated results as well as to evaluate the performance of the controller.
Date of Conference: 7-10 Nov. 2010