A Bio-cooperative Robotic System to Ensure Ergonomic Postures During Upper Limb Rehabilitation in Occupational Contexts
Inappropriate work conditions represent the main cause for upper limb musculoskeletal disorders in many working professions. In this context, robotics and novel technologies might represent a new frontier of devices able to treat musculoskeletal disorders. This paper aims at proposing and preliminary testing a bio-cooperative robotic platform for upper limb rehabilitation composed of a redundant anthropomorphic manipulator, an active arm gravity support and a multimodal interface. With the proposed platform it is possible to extract performance and muscular fatigue indicators and accordingly adapt the level of assistance, provided by the anthropomorphic robot arm, and of arm support. Furthermore, it was verified if the use of the proposed platform allowed subjects to execute highly controlled movements while maintaining an ergonomic posture able to limit the trunk compensatory movements during reaching. A preliminary study on 8 healthy subjects was carried out and the Rapid Upper Limb Assessment test was adopted to assess the subject’s upperlimb posture during the rehabilitation task. The obtained results are encouraging for extending the study for rehabilitation in occupational contexts of patients with upper limb musculoskeletal pathologies.
KeywordsRobotic system Ergonomic postures Occupational contexts Adaptive control Human-robot interaction
This work was supported partly by the Italian Institute for Labour Accidents (INAIL) with the RehabRobo@work (CUP: C82F17000040001), PCR 1/2 (CUP: E57B16000160005) and PPR AS 1/3 (CUP: E57B16000160005) projects and partly by the European Project H2020/AIDE: Adaptive Multimodal Interfaces to Assist Disabled People in Daily Activities (CUP: J42I15000030006).
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