Robotic Rehabilitation And Assistance For Individuals With Movement Disorders Based On A Kinematic Model Of The Upper Limb

Design and development of robotic-assistance must consider the abilities of individuals with disabilities. In this paper, a 8-DOF kinematic model of the upper limb complex is derived to evaluate the reachable workspace of the arm during interaction with a planar robot and to serve as the basis for rehabilitation strategies and assistive robotics. Through inverse differential kinematics and by taking into account the physical limits of each arm joint, the model determines workspaces where the individual is able to perform tasks and those regions where robotic assistance is required. Next, a learning-from-demonstration strategy via a nonparametric potential field function is derived to teach the robot the required assistance based on demonstrations of functional tasks. The paper investigates two applications. First, in the context of rehabilitation, robotic assistance is only provided if the individual is required to move her arm in regions that are not reachable via voluntary motion. Second, in the context of assistive robotics, the demonstrated trajectory is scaled down to match the individual’s voluntary range of motion through a nonlinear workspace mapping. Assistance is provided within that workspace only. Experimental results in 5 different experimental scenarios with a person with cerebral palsy confirm the suitability of the proposed framework.