Comparison of Lower Arm Weight and Passive Elbow Joint Impedance Compensation Strategies in Non-Disabled Participants

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People with severe muscle weakness in the upper extremity are in need of an arm support to enhance arm function and improve their quality of life. In addition to weight support, compensation of passive joint impedance (pJimp) seems necessary. Existing devices do not compensate for pJimp yet, and the best way to compensate for it is still unknown. The aim of this study is to 1) identify pJimp of the elbow, and 2) compare four different compensation strategies of weight and combined weight and pJimp in an active elbow support system. The passive elbow joint moments, including gravitational and pJimp contributions, were measured in 12 non-disabled participants. The four compensation strategies (scaled-model, measured, hybrid, and fitted-model) were compared using a position-tracking task in the near vertical plane. All four strategies showed a significant reduction (20–47%) in the anti-gravity elbow flexor activity measured by surface electromyography. The pJimp turned out to contribute to a large extent to the passive elbow joint moments (range took up 60%) in non-disabled participants. This underlines the relevance of compensating for pJimp in arm support systems. The parameters of the scaled-model and hybrid strategy seem to overestimate the gravitational component. Therefore, the measured and fitted-model strategies are expected to be most promising to test in people with severe muscle weakness combined with elevated pJimp.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2023 International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)979-8-3503-4275-8
ISBN (Print)979-8-3503-4276-5
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event2023 International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR) - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 24 Sept 202328 Sept 2023


Conference2023 International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR)

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