Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing

, Volume 53, Issue 9, pp 815–828 | Cite as

Upper-limb kinematic reconstruction during stroke robot-aided therapy

  • E. Papaleo
  • L. Zollo
  • N. Garcia-Aracil
  • F. J. Badesa
  • R. Morales
  • S. Mazzoleni
  • S. Sterzi
  • E. Guglielmelli
Original Article


The paper proposes a novel method for an accurate and unobtrusive reconstruction of the upper-limb kinematics of stroke patients during robot-aided rehabilitation tasks with end-effector machines. The method is based on a robust analytic procedure for inverse kinematics that simply uses, in addition to hand pose data provided by the robot, upper arm acceleration measurements for computing a constraint on elbow position; it is exploited for task space augmentation. The proposed method can enable in-depth comprehension of planning strategy of stroke patients in the joint space and, consequently, allow developing therapies tailored for their residual motor capabilities. The experimental validation has a twofold purpose: (1) a comparative analysis with an optoelectronic motion capturing system is used to assess the method capability to reconstruct joint motion; (2) the application of the method to healthy and stroke subjects during circle-drawing tasks with InMotion2 robot is used to evaluate its efficacy in discriminating stroke from healthy behavior. The experimental results have shown that arm angles are reconstructed with a RMSE of 8.3 × 10−3 rad. Moreover, the comparison between healthy and stroke subjects has revealed different features in the joint space in terms of mean values and standard deviations, which also allow assessing inter- and intra-subject variability. The findings of this study contribute to the investigation of motor performance in the joint space and Cartesian space of stroke patients undergoing robot-aided therapy, thus allowing: (1) evaluating the outcomes of the therapeutic approach, (2) re-planning the robotic treatment based on patient needs, and (3) understanding pathology-related motor strategies.


Upper-limb kinematics Rehabilitation robotics Stroke rehabilitation 



This work was partly supported by the European project  H2020/AIDE (CUP J42I15000030006) and the Italian project Industria2015/DAHMS (CUP B85E10003020008).


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Copyright information

© International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Papaleo
    • 1
  • L. Zollo
    • 1
  • N. Garcia-Aracil
    • 2
  • F. J. Badesa
    • 2
  • R. Morales
    • 2
  • S. Mazzoleni
    • 3
  • S. Sterzi
    • 4
  • E. Guglielmelli
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Biomedical Robotics and BiomicrosystemsUniversità Campus Bio-Medico di RomaRomeItaly
  2. 2.Virtual Reality and Robotics LabUniversidad Miguel Hernandez de ElcheElcheSpain
  3. 3.BioRobotics InstituteScuola Superiore Sant’Anna PisaPisaItaly
  4. 4.Operative Unit of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationUniversità Campus Bio-Medico di RomaRomeItaly

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