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Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR), 2013 IEEE International Conference on

Date 24-26 June 2013

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  • [Front cover]

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  • [Copyright notice]

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  • Podium sessions

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  • Poster sessions

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  • Author index

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  • Welcome

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  • Program at a glance

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  • Schedule

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  • Keynote speakers: Community integration: Relevance for robotics

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    Dr. Angela Colantonio is a Senior Research Scientist at Toronto Rehab, where she holds the Saunderson Family Chair in Acquired Brain Injury Research. She is also a Professor of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto where she holds a Canadian Institute for Health Research Chair in Gender, Work and Health. She leads an internationally recognized program of research on acquired brain injury (ABI) that includes examination of ABI in the population for both injury prevention and post acute care purposes, with a special focus on vulnerable populations. Other areas of Dr. Colantonio's research program include long term outcomes, sex- and genderrelated issues, and innovative approaches to intervention, such as the use of theatre as a knowledge mobilization strategy. She has over 160 publications and has received funding from numerous agencies in both the United States and Canada. View full abstract»

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  • Committees

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  • Workshops

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  • Towards extended virtual presence of the therapist in stroke rehabilitation

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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (3589 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper considers the use of humanoid robots in residential stroke care to facilitate both direct and indirect interaction between clients and therapists. Direct interaction is realized through a humanoid-mediated teletherapy where a therapist assesses the motor function of a patient and provides therapy customized to the individual. During the teletherapy sessions, the therapist uses a simple speech interface to program therapeutic behavior and activity. Indirect interaction is implemented by the therapist-programmed artifact where a humanoid robot delivers therapeutic activities to the stroke patient in the absence of the therapist. We propose that such an approach can amplify the outcome per hour of therapist time. Outcome data from the current study indicate that the therapist can successfully provide customized therapy to individuals in residential settings and warrant further study. View full abstract»

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  • Intelligent control of a smart walker and its performance evaluation

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    Recent technological advances have allowed the development of force-dependent, intelligently controlled smart walkers that are able to provide users with enhanced mobility, support and gait assistance. The purpose of this study was to develop an intelligent rule-based controller for a smart walker to achieve a smooth interaction between the user and the walker. This study developed a rule-based mapping between the interaction force, measured by a load cell attached to the walker handle, and the acceleration of the walker. Ten young, healthy subjects were used to evaluate the performance of the proposed controller compared to a well-known admittance-based control system. There were no significant differences between the two control systems concerning their user experience, velocity profiles or average cost of transportation. However, the admittance-based control system required a 1.2N lower average interaction force to maintain the 1m/s target speed (p = 0.002). Metabolic data also indicated that smart walker-assisted gait could considerably reduce the metabolic demand of walking with a four-legged walker. View full abstract»

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  • Development and preliminary testing of a novel wheelchair integrated exercise/ rehabilitation system

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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (685 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The people with spinal cord injuries (SCI) or post stroke hemiplegia are easily exposed to secondary problems due to limited mobility. A new wheelchair integrated lower limb exercise/rehabilitation system is proposed to help their daily living and rehabilitation. The system consists of three main modules: 1) an electric wheelchair, 2) a lifter which raises and supports the subject's body weight, and 3) a lower limb exoskeleton. This paper describes the concept of the entire system and configurations of the prototype. In the design of the lower limb exoskeleton, the ergonomic joint mechanisms are introduced to assist the natural daily motions based on the biomechanics of each hip, knee and ankle joint. View full abstract»

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  • Toward gesture controlled wheelchair: A proof of concept study

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    This study focuses on the early stages of developing and testing an interactive approach for gesture-based wheelchair control that could facilitate the user in various tasks such as cooking and food serving. The proposed method allows a user to hold an object (tray, saucepan, etc) with both hands and to control at the same time the wheelchair direction via changing the position of his/her arms. The wheelchair control system contains an image sensor directed to the user's arms. Sensor signals are processed via an image-recognition algorithm and the calculations for the arm positions are used for the computation of the wheelchair steering signals. Thus, the wheelchair direction depends on the arm positions and the user can control the wheelchair by moving his/her arms. An initial wheelchair prototype, operated by the intentional motions of one hand, was built and was tested by several initial experiments. View full abstract»

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  • Measuring the dynamic impedance of the human arm without a force sensor

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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1336 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Rehabilitation robots may be used to accurately measure the mechanical impedance of the human arm in order to quantitatively assess the motor function of a patient undergoing neurorehabilitation therapy. However, the high cost of these robotic systems and their required sensors has posed a barrier to widespread clinical use. We present a technique to measure the mechanical impedance of the human arm without the need for a physical force sensor to measure human-robot interaction forces. Instead, these forces are accurately estimated by a virtual sensor that incorporates the robot's kinematics and dynamics, along with acceleration measurements from an inexpensive accelerometer. The identification techniques are validated on a mass-spring system of known impedance and are subsequently applied to data collected from the human arm. View full abstract»

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  • Development of an orthosis for walking assistance using pneumatic artificial muscle: A quantitative assessment of the effect of assistance

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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1481 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In recent years, there is an increase in the number of people that require support during walking as a result of a decrease in the leg muscle strength accompanying aging. An important index for evaluating walking ability is step length. A key cause for a decrease in step length is the loss of muscle strength in the legs. Many researchers have designed and developed orthoses for walking assistance. In this study, we advanced the design of an orthosis for walking assistance that assists the forward swing of the leg to increase step length. We employed a pneumatic artificial muscle as the actuator so that flexible assistance with low rigidity can be achieved. To evaluate the performance of the system, we measured the effect of assistance quantitatively. In this study, we constructed a prototype of the orthosis and measure EMG and step length on fitting it to a healthy subject so as to determine the effect of assistance, noting the increase in the obtained step length. Although there was an increase in EMG stemming from the need to maintain body balance during the stance phase, we observed that the EMG of the sartorius muscle, which helps swing the leg forward, decreased, and the strength of the semitendinosus muscle, which restrains the leg against over-assistance, did not increase but decreased. Our experiments showed that the assistance force provided by the developed orthosis is not adequate for the intended task, and the development of a mechanism that provides appropriate assistance is required in the future. View full abstract»

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  • Brief biomechanical analysis on the walking of spinal cord injury patients with a lower limb exoskeleton robot

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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (637 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper presents a brief biomechanical analysis on the walking behavior of spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. It is known that SCI patients who have serious injuries to their spines cannot walk, and hence, several walking assistance lower limb exoskeleton robots have been proposed whose assistance abilities are shown to be well customized. However, these robots are not yet fully helpful to all SCI patients for several reasons. To overcome these problems, an exact analysis and evaluation of the restored walking function while the exoskeleton is worn is important. In this work, walking behavior of SCI patients wearing the rehabilitation of brain injuries (ROBIN) lower-limb walking assistant exoskeleton was analyzed in comparison to that of normal unassisted walking. The analysis method and results presented herein can be used by other researchers to improve their robots. View full abstract»

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  • Ankle-Knee prosthesis with powered ankle and energy transfer for CYBERLEGs α-prototype

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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2024 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Restoring natural walking for amputees has been increasingly investigated because of demographic evolution, leading to increased number of amputations, and increasing demand for independence. The energetic disadvantages of passive pros-theses are clear, and active prostheses are limited in autonomy. This paper presents the simulation, design and development of an actuated knee-ankle prosthesis based on a variable stiffness actuator with energy transfer from the knee to the ankle. This approach allows a good approximation of the joint torques and the kinematics of the human gait cycle while maintaining compliant joints and reducing energy consumption during level walking. This first prototype consists of a passive knee and an active ankle, which are energetically coupled to reduce the power consumption. View full abstract»

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  • Human-robot-interaction control for orthoses with pneumatic soft-actuators — Concept and initial trails

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    The purpose of this paper is to present a concept of human-robot-interaction control for robots with compliant pneumatic soft-actuators which are directly attached to the human body. Backdrivability of this type of actuators is beneficial for comfort and safety and they are well suitable to design rehabilitation robots for training of activities of daily living (ADL). The concept is verified with an application example of sit-to-stand tasks taking conventional treatment in neurology as reference. The focus is on stroke patients with a target group suffering from hemiplegia and paralysis in one half of the body. A 2 DOF exoskeleton robot was used as testbed to implement the control concept for supporting rising based on a master-slave position control such that movements from the fit leg are transferred to the affected leg. Furthermore the wearer of the robot has the possibility to adjust support for stabilizing the knee joint manually. Preliminary results are presented. View full abstract»

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  • Adaptive model-based assistive control for pneumatic direct driven soft rehabilitation robots

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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1139 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Assistive behavior and inherent compliance are assumed to be the essential properties for effective robot-assisted therapy in neurological as well as in orthopedic rehabilitation. This paper presents two adaptive model-based assistive controllers for pneumatic direct driven soft rehabilitation robots that are based on separated models of the soft-robot and the patient's extremity, in order to take into account the individual patient's behavior, effort and ability during control, what is assumed to be essential to relearn lost motor functions in neurological and facilitate muscle reconstruction in orthopedic rehabilitation. The high inherent compliance of soft-actuators allows for a general human-robot interaction and provides the base for effective and dependable assistive control. An inverse model of the soft-robot with estimated parameters is used to achieve robot transparency during treatment and inverse adaptive models of the individual patient's extremity allow the controllers to learn on-line the individual patient's behavior and effort and react in a way that assist the patient only as much as needed. The effectiveness of the controllers is evaluated with unimpaired subjects using a first prototype of a soft-robot for elbow training. Advantages and disadvantages of both controllers are analyzed and discussed. View full abstract»

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  • A depressurization assistance system with a suitable posture for a seated patient on a wheelchair

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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1731 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    For reducing a risk of pressure sore caused by long period sitting on a wheelchair, a patient is required to depressurize buttocks by changing the posture suitably. Thus, we have been developed an automatic depressurization motion assistance system for a seated patient on a wheelchair. In our previous work, we developed a sitting surface coordination system which can lift or incline and assists a depressurization motion of a patient. However, in some cases, it is difficult to change his posture suitably for patients who do not have enough physical strength in their upper body using our proposed device. Therefore, in this paper, we propose a novel posture coordination assistance system for a wheelchair user. Our system consists of the adjustable sitting surface and novel proposed adjustable backrest. These two devices coordinate the sitting posture of the patient automatically. Our key ideas are two topics. One topic is mechanical design of the adjustable backrest for practical use. We realize small mechanism which enables easy implementation to a general wheelchair without special reconstruction. The other topic is a natural posture coordination scheme using the sitting surface and the backrest. We analyze buttocks depressurization operation by a nursing specialist and drive our proposed devices for realizing it. The performance of our system is verified by experiments using our prototype. View full abstract»

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  • A new powered orthosis with hip and ankle linkage for paraplegics walking

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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (5768 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Several types of hip-knee-ankle-foot orthotic systems have been proposed for paraplegic walking during these decades. Hip and ankle linked orthosis (HALO) is compact one in those orthoses, which seeks to achieve a smoother-movement and user-easiness on its don/doff in paraplegic walking. The idea of HALO is to link two ankle joints with medial single joint via wires so that the orthosis keeps both feet always parallel to the floor while walking and assist the swinging of the leg. So as to reduce the consumption energy of HALO walking, we have introduced two actuators to control the ankle-joints angles in this paper. The actuators placed at hip joint in HALO allow the orthosis to have more degree-of-freedom and are able to provide a propulsive force the coupled user-orthosis system. The results of preliminary experiments with normal subjects show that the users can walk smoother and the proposed orthotic system will be able to reduce the users' consumption energy while walking. View full abstract»

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  • Design of a self-aligning 3-DOF actuated exoskeleton for diagnosis and training of wrist and forearm after stroke

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    Rehabilitation robotics provides a means of objectively quantifying patient condition before, during and after treatment. This paper describes the design and preliminary validation results of a novel rehabilitation device for the human wrist and forearm. The design features two key aspects: 1) it performs dynamical self-alignment to compensate for misalignment of the human limb and 2) it assists movements within almost the full natural range of motion. Self-alignment is performed by a linkage of parallelograms that allows torque-driven actuation. Advantages are decreased user-device interaction forces and lower don/doff-and setup-times. The full natural range of motion in Flexion/Extension, Radial/Ulnar-deviation and Pronation/Supination allows patients to perform ADL-like exercises during training. Furthermore, in the current design the hand and fingers remain free to perform grabbing activities and the open structure provides simple connection to the patients limb. View full abstract»

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