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  • Cited by 3
  • Print publication year: 2006
  • Online publication date: August 2010

12 - Rehabilitation robotics, orthotics, and prosthetics

from Section A2 - Therapeutic technology


One overarching goal drives the research and development activities: to revolutionize rehabilitation medicine with mechatronics, robotics, and information technologies that can assist movement, enhance treatment and quantify outcomes. This chapter presents three fronts of this revolution: rehabilitation robotics, orthotics, and prosthetics. It also presents the authors own results to delineate the potential of the technology and future directions for rehabilitation robotics. To date, the authors have deployed three distinct robot modules in collaborating clinical institutions for shoulder and elbow, wrist, and spatial movements. Orthotics plays an important role in the rehabilitation of patients with motor impairments. Despite advances in technology, progress in the development of effective upper-limb amputation prostheses has been modest. Providing an amputee with the ability to adjust impedance yields superior performance, and helps improving upper-limb prostheses. In the advancement of prosthetic systems, one feels that distributed sensory architectures are research areas of critical importance.

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