On the Efficacy of Isolating Shoulder and Elbow Movements with a Soft, Portable, and Wearable Robotic Device

  • Zahra Kadivar
  • Christopher E. BeckEmail author
  • Roger N. Rovekamp
  • Marcia K. O’Malley
  • Charles A. Joyce
Conference paper
Part of the Biosystems & Biorobotics book series (BIOSYSROB, volume 16)


Treatment intensity has a profound effect on motor recovery following neurological injury. The use of robotics has potential to automate these labor-intensive therapy procedures that are typically performed by physical therapists. Further, the use of wearable robotics offers an aspect of portability that may allow for rehabilitation outside the clinic. The authors have developed a soft, portable, lightweight upper extremity wearable robotic device to provide motor rehabilitation of patients with affected upper limbs due to traumatic brain injury (TBI). A key feature of the device demonstrated in this paper is the isolation of shoulder and elbow movements necessary for effective rehabilitation interventions. Herein is presented a feasibility study with one subject and demonstration of the device’s ability to provide safe, comfortable, and controlled upper extremity movements. Moreover, it is shown that by decoupling shoulder and elbow motions, desired isolated joint actuation can be achieved.


Traumatic Brain Injury Elbow Flexion Shoulder Abduction Elbow Movement Extremity Movement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Hubbard, I.J., Parsons, M.W., Neilson, C., Carey, L.M.: Task-specific training: evidence for and translation to clinical practice. Occup. Ther. Int. 16(3–4), 175–189 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Sunderland, A., Tuke, A.: Neuroplasticity, learning and recovery after stroke: a critical evaluation of constraint-induced therapy. Neuropsychol. Rehabil. 15(2), 81–96 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Mihelj, M., Kiefer, G., Perndl, C., Müller, R., Riener, R.: ARMin – Exoskeleton for arm therapy in stroke patients. In: IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, pp. 68–74 (2007)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Krebs, H.I., Hogan, N., Aisen, M.L., Volpe, B.T.: Robot-aided neurorehabilitation. IEEE Trans. Rehabil. Eng. 6(1), 75–87 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Burgar, C.G., Lum, P.S., Shor, P.C., Van der Loos, H.F.M.: Development of robots for rehabilitation therapy: the Palo Alto VA/Stanford experience. J. Rehabil. Res. Dev. 37(6), 663–673 (2000)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Injury Prevention & Control: Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion. (n.d.). Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed 1 Apr 2016

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zahra Kadivar
    • 1
  • Christopher E. Beck
    • 2
    Email author
  • Roger N. Rovekamp
    • 2
  • Marcia K. O’Malley
    • 1
  • Charles A. Joyce
    • 2
  1. 1.Rice UniversityHoustonUSA
  2. 2.NASA JSC Wearable Robotics LaboratoryHoustonUSA

Personalised recommendations