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Research Papers

Trackhold: A Novel Passive Arm-Support Device

[+] Author and Article Information
Basilio Lenzo

Perceptual Robotics Laboratory,
TeCIP, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna,
Via Alamanni 13/B Ghezzano,
Pisa 56017, Italy
e-mail: b.lenzo@sssup.it

Marco Fontana

Perceptual Robotics Laboratory,
TeCIP, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna,
Via Alamanni 13/B Ghezzano,
Pisa 56017, Italy
e-mail: m.fontana@sssup.it

Simone Marcheschi

Perceptual Robotics Laboratory,
TeCIP, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna,
Via Alamanni 13/B Ghezzano,
Pisa 56017, Italy
e-mail: s.marcheschi@sssup.it

Fabio Salsedo

Perceptual Robotics Laboratory,
TeCIP, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna,
Via Alamanni 13/B Ghezzano,
Pisa 56017, Italy
e-mail: f.salsedo@sssup.it

Antonio Frisoli

Perceptual Robotics Laboratory,
TeCIP, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna,
Via Alamanni 13/B Ghezzano,
Pisa 56017, Italy
e-mail: a.frisoli@sssup.it

Massimo Bergamasco

Perceptual Robotics Laboratory,
TeCIP, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna,
Via Alamanni 13/B Ghezzano,
Pisa 56017, Italy
e-mail: m.bergamasco@sssup.it

Manuscript received January 30, 2015; final manuscript received September 18, 2015; published online November 24, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Marcia K. O'Malley.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 8(2), 021007 (Nov 24, 2015) (9 pages) Paper No: JMR-15-1020; doi: 10.1115/1.4031716 History: Received January 30, 2015; Revised September 18, 2015; Accepted September 29, 2015

This article introduces the design and the experimental validation of the Trackhold, a novel mechanical motion-tracker for upper limb physical rehabilitation. The Trackhold is based on a passively balanced mechanism that can approximately relieve the weight of the patient’s arm regardless of the position. The system features a novel kinematic architecture with large workspace and custom developed joint sensors providing accurate real-time measure of the upper limb posture. The design approach of the device, which went through kinetostatic and dynamic analyses, is presented and details on the employed mechatronic solutions are provided. A prototype of the Trackhold has been fabricated and functionally validated.

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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Human arm’s kinematics and CCM principle

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Fig. 2

Pantograph and counterweight implementing the CCM

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Fig. 3

Kinematics of the Trackhold

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Fig. 4

Trackhold workspace, referred to the CCM point reachable positions, compared with an approximate representation of the human arm workspace

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Fig. 5

Test for the dynamic analysis of the Trackhold

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Fig. 6

Recorded target position (subject 4)

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Fig. 7

Simulated joint coordinates and wrench exerted to the user (subject 4)

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Fig. 8

CAD model of the Trackhold

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Fig. 9

CAD model of flexion–torsion joint and one of its sections

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Fig. 10

Architecture of electronics

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Fig. 11

Custom built, USB-powered electronic board for the acquisition of Hall-effect sensor signals

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Fig. 12

Details of the Trackhold with the test end-effector

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Fig. 13

First experimental test: joint coordinates and measured wrench at the end effector

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Fig. 14

Second experimental test: joint coordinates and measured wrench at the end effector

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Fig. 15

A user wearing the Trackhold

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