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Design and Development of Upper Limb Soft Exoskeleton for Rehabilitation

Part of the IFMBE Proceedings book series (IFMBE,volume 67)


Current physiotherapy sessions are expensive or not available readily for patients and elderly. The main aim of this project is to design and develop a wearable exoskeleton which could be made practical to rehearse wrist rehabilitation exercises. In the ever advancing robotics field, pneumatic muscles are a cost reliable alternative actuator for locomotion and manipulation for a master-slave biophysical system. Implementing the flex sensors as primary sensory tool on the sound limb to detect angular deflection of the wrist to assist radial deviation, ulnar deviation, extension and flexion motions, while the pneumatic muscles operate the unsound limb. The overall system efficiency was measured based on testing done with several human subjects, all using specifically fabricated pneumatic muscles of variable total length but a fixed active length of 14 cm. the active length of the pneumatic muscle is the key feature of any pneumatic muscle as this feature determines the contraction length that translates to the angular wrist movement. Furthermore, the system was able to be monitored aptly using a GUI programmed using LabVIEW and interfaced to Arduino. The testing results were taken to be 55.72% overall efficient.


  • Soft exoskeleton
  • Assistive motion
  • Low cost
  • Pneumatic muscle
  • Rehabilitation and flex sensor

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-981-10-7554-4_19
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A special thanks to Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation for funding the project. Similarly, thanks to APCORE (Asia Pacific University Center of Robotic Engineering) members for their valuable contribution to the development of the system. Finally, thanks to each and every one who contributed either directly or indirectly to the project.

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Correspondence to Suresh Gobee .

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Gobee, S., Durairajah, V., Mugilan, G. (2018). Design and Development of Upper Limb Soft Exoskeleton for Rehabilitation. In: Ibrahim, F., Usman, J., Ahmad, M., Hamzah, N., Teh, S. (eds) 2nd International Conference for Innovation in Biomedical Engineering and Life Sciences. ICIBEL 2017. IFMBE Proceedings, vol 67. Springer, Singapore.

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