Improving Usability of Rehabilitation Robots: Hand Module Evaluation of the ARMin Exoskeleton

  • Fabian JustEmail author
  • Daniel Gunz
  • Jaime Duarte
  • Davide Simonetti
  • Robert Riener
  • Georg Rauter
Conference paper
Part of the Biosystems & Biorobotics book series (BIOSYSROB, volume 22)


The impact of arm rehabilitation robots increases with their usability. Hereby, usability can refer to many aspects of the robot’s functionalities in relation to interaction with the patient and/or the therapist. In the current case, the usability of robotic hand modules are in the focus. Especially for patients with spastic hand function, the design of the hand module is a critical factor for the patient set-up time. In this paper, the development of a new hand module for the ARMin according to usability requirements is presented. The requirements entail fast set-up time, functional movement and force training as well as hygiene factors. The developed hand module fulfills the requirements and is expected to increase usability and acceptance of the device.



The authors would like to thank Michael Herold-Nadig and Marco Bader for their constant, valuable support.


  1. 1.
    Lee, M., Rittenhouse, M., Abdullah, H.A.: Design issues for therapeutic robot systems: results from a survey of physiotherapists. J. Intell. Rob. Syst. 42(3), 239–252 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lu, E.C., Wang, R.H., Hebert, D., Boger, J., Galea, M.P., Mihailidis, A.: The development of an upper limb stroke rehabilitation robot: identification of clinical practices and design requirements through a survey of therapists. Disabil. Rehabil. Assist. Technol. 6(5), 420–431 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Just, F., Baur, K., Riener, R., Klamroth-Marganska, V., Rauter, G.: Online adaptive compensation of the ARMin rehabilitation robot. In: 2016 6th IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BioRob), pp. 747–752. IEEE (2016)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Heo, P., Gu, G.M., Lee, S.-J., Rhee, K., Kim, J.: Current hand exoskeleton technologies for rehabilitation and assistive engineering. Int. J. Precis. Eng. Manuf. 13(5), 807–824 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wege, A., Hommel, G.: Development and control of a hand exoskeleton for rehabilitation of hand injuries. In: 2005 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2005, pp. 3046–3051. IEEE (2005)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chiri, A., Vitiello, N., Giovacchini, F., Roccella, S., Vecchi, F., Carrozza, M.C.: Mechatronic design and characterization of the index finger module of a hand exoskeleton for post-stroke rehabilitation. IEEE/ASmE Trans. Mechatron. 17(5), 884–894 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lambercy, O., Dovat, L., Gassert, R., Burdet, E., Teo, C.L., Milner, T.: A haptic knob for rehabilitation of hand function. IEEE Trans. Neural Syst. Rehabil. Eng. 15(3), 356–366 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Masia, L., Krebs, H.I., Cappa, P., Hogan, N.: Design and characterization of hand module for whole-arm rehabilitation following stroke. IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatron. 12(4), 399–407 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kamper, D.G., Fischer, H.C., Cruz, E.G., Rymer, W.Z.: Weakness is the primary contributor to finger impairment in chronic stroke. Arch. Phys. Med. Rehabil. 87(9), 1262–1269 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bullock, I.M., Zheng, J.Z., De La Rosa, S., Guertler, C., Dollar, A.M.: Grasp frequency and usage in daily household and machine shop tasks. IEEE Trans. Haptics 6(3), 296–308 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabian Just
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daniel Gunz
    • 1
  • Jaime Duarte
    • 1
  • Davide Simonetti
    • 2
  • Robert Riener
    • 1
  • Georg Rauter
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Sensory-Motor Systems Lab, ETH Zurich and Spinal Cord Injury CenterUniversity Hospital BalgristZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Research Unit of Biomedical Robotics and Biomicrosystems, Campus Bio-Medico University of RomeRomeItaly
  3. 3.BIROMED Lab, DBEUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations