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rehabilitation, upper limb, dual functionality, exoskeleton, end effector, upper arm forces, sensorized cuff


The design of an upper limb rehabilitation robot for post-stroke patients is considered a benchmark problem regarding improving functionality and ensuring better human–robot interaction (HRI). Existing upper limb robots perform either joint-based exercises (exoskeleton-type functionality) or end-point exercises (end-effector-type functionality). Patients may need both kinds of exercises, depending on the type, level, and degree of impairments. This work focused on designing and developing a seven-degrees-of-freedom (DoFs) upper-limb rehabilitation exoskeleton called ‘u-Rob’ that functions as both exoskeleton and end-effector types device. Furthermore, HRI can be improved by monitoring the interaction forces between the robot and the wearer. Existing upper limb robots lack the ability to monitor interaction forces during passive rehabilitation exercises; measuring upper arm forces is also absent in the existing devices. This research work aimed to develop an innovative sensorized upper arm cuff to measure the wearer’s interaction forces in the upper arm. A PID control technique was implemented for both joint-based and end-point exercises. The experimental results validated both types of functionality of the developed robot.