Masters Thesis

Electromyography Sensor Controlled Assistive Orthotic Robotic Arm for Forearm Movement

Nearly 1 in 50 are affected by paralysis, which restrains the free movements of human body parts. Paralyzed individuals require support systems that can aid motion and enhance body parts in order to do common Activities of Daily Living (ADL). the most commonly used assistive systems are prosthetic and orthotic devices. Prosthetics are artificial extensions used to replace the missing body parts or supplement the paralyzed body parts. Orthotic devices are external mechanical structures that support non-functional body parts, which are actuated by motors. This study presents an orthotic robotic arm that can help in retraining flexion and extension movements of the forearm of the person affected by stroke. an Orthotic Robotic Arm (ORA) is a rigid brace, which has two Degrees of Freedom (DoF) and is used to restore the function of the forearm by enabling individuals with paralysis to self-initiate and control movement of their partially paralyzed forearm using muscle signals. a series of experimental trials (n = 5) were conducted using two subjects and an 80% accuracy was achieved. Preliminary results suggest that the ORA has the potential to improve the mobility of hand movements of paralyzed individuals.

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