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CUBE, a Cable-driven Device for Limb Rehabilitation


In this paper, a novel cable-driven parallel robot, CUBE, is introduced for the assistance of patients in rehabilitation exercising of both upper and lower limbs. The system is characterized by a lightweight structure that is easy to set-up and operate, for both clinical and home usage for both pre-determined and customized exercises, with control over the position of the end-effector while locking its rotation around the horizontal axes. Its cable-driven design makes it inherently safe in human/robot interactions also due to the extremely low inertia. While a novel end-effector design makes the device wearable both on the upper and lower limbs without having to disassemble any part of the structure. The design is presented with its kinematic analysis. Then, the manufacturing through 3D-printing and commercial components of a first prototype is reported. Finally, the system is validated through motion tests along simple trajectories and two different spatial exercises.

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This work was supported by the Project ID 37 215, MySMIS code 103415 “Innovative approaches regarding the rehabilitation and assistive robotics for healthy ageing” co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Competitiveness Operational Programme 2014–2020, Priority Axis 1, Action 1.1.4, through the financing contract 20/01.09.2016, between the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca and ANCSI as Intermediary Organism in the name and for the Ministry of European Funds.

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Correspondence to Giuseppe Carbone.

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Cafolla, D., Russo, M. & Carbone, G. CUBE, a Cable-driven Device for Limb Rehabilitation. J Bionic Eng 16, 492–502 (2019).

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  • cable-driven robots
  • medical robots
  • parallel robots
  • rehabilitation devices