Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Robot assisted rehabilitation of the arm after stroke: prototype design and clinical evaluation

  • 205 Accesses

  • 9 Citations


Robot assisted rehabilitation training is a promising tool for post-stroke patients’ recovery, and some new challenges are imposed on robot design, control, and clinical evaluation. This paper presents a novel upper limb rehabilitation robot that can provide safe and compliant force feedbacks to the patient for the benefits of its stiff and low-inertia parallel structure, highly backdrivable capstan-cable transmission, and impedance control method in the workspace. The “assist-as-needed” (AAN) clinical training principle is implemented through the “virtual tunnel” force field design, the “assistance threshold” strategy, as well as the virtual environment training games, and preliminary clinical results show its effectiveness for motor relearning for both acute and chronic stroke patients, especially for coordinated movements of shoulder and elbow.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1

    Ouellette M M, LeBrasseur N K, Bean J F, et al. High-intensity resistance training improves muscle strength, selfreported function, and disability in long-term stroke survivors. Stroke, 2004, 35: 1404–1409

  2. 2

    Riener R, Nef T, Colombo G. Robot-aided neurorehabilitation of the upper extremities. Med Biol Eng Comput, 2005, 43: 2–10

  3. 3

    Marchal-Crespo L, Reinkensmeyer D J. Review of control strategies for robotic movement training after neurologic injury. J Neuro Eng Rehabil, 2009, 6: 20

  4. 4

    Peng L, Hou Z G, Wang W Q. Synchronous active interaction control and its implementation for a rehabilitation robot. Acta Autom Sin, 2015, 41: 1837–1846

  5. 5

    Reinkensmeyer D J, Wolbrecht E, Bobrow J. A computational model of human-robot load sharing during robot-assisted arm movement training after stroke. In: Proceedings of Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), Lyon, 2007. 4019–4023

  6. 6

    Peng L, Hou Z G, Peng L, et al. Design of CASIA-ARM: a novel rehabilitation robot for upper limbs. In: Proceedings of IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Hamburg, 2015. 5611–5616

  7. 7

    Minh H V, Joo N U. Tele-operation of a 6-dof serial robot using a new 6-dof haptic interface. In: Proceedings of IEEE International Symposium on Haptic Audio-Visual Environments and Games (HAVE), Phoenix, 2010. 1–6

  8. 8

    Buerger S P, Palazzolo J J, Krebs H I, et al. Rehabilitation robotics: adapting robot behavior to suit patient needs and abilities. In: Proceedings of the American Control Conference (ACC), Boston, 2004. 3239–3244

  9. 9

    Peng L, Hou Z G, Wang W Q, et al. Dynamic modeling and control of a parallel upper-limb rehabilitation robot. In: Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR), Singapore, 2015. 532–537

  10. 10

    Lo A C, Guarino P D, Richards L G, et al. Robot-assisted therapy for long-term upper-limb impairment after stroke. New Engl J Med, 2010, 362: 1772–1783

  11. 11

    Krebs H I, Palazzolo J J, Dipietro L, et al. Rehabilitation robotics: performance-based progressive robot-assisted therapy. Auton Robots, 2003, 15: 7–20

  12. 12

    Hogan N. Impedance control: an approach to manipulation. In: Proceedings of American Control Conference (ACC), San Diego, 1984. 304–313

  13. 13

    Gil J J, Avello A, Rubio A, et al. Stability analysis of a 1 DOF haptic interface using the Routh-Hurwitz criterion. IEEE Trans Contr Syst Technol, 2004, 12: 583–588

  14. 14

    Klamroth-Marganska V, Blanco J, Campen K, et al. Three-dimensional, task-specific robot therapy of the arm after stroke: a multicentre, parallel-group randomised trial. Lancet Neurology, 2014, 13: 159–166

Download references


This work was supported in part by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61533016, 61421004, 61603386, U1613228), Early Career Development Award of SKLMCCS, and Beijing Science and Technology Project (Grant No. Z161100001516004).

Author information

Correspondence to Zeng-Guang Hou.

Additional information

Conflict of interest The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supporting information The supporting information is available online at info.scichina.com and link. springer.com. The supporting materials are published as submitted, without typesetting or editing. The responsibility for scientific accuracy and content remains entirely with the authors.

Electronic supplementary material

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Peng, L., Hou, Z., Peng, L. et al. Robot assisted rehabilitation of the arm after stroke: prototype design and clinical evaluation. Sci. China Inf. Sci. 60, 073201 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11432-017-9076-9

Download citation


  • rehabilitation robot
  • passive training
  • active training
  • force feedback
  • impedance control