A functionality test at the level of individual muscles by investigating the activity of a muscle of interest on various tasks may enable muscle-level force grading. This paper proposes a new method for muscle function tests using an exoskeleton robot for obtaining a wider variety of muscle activity data than standard motor tasks, e.g., pushing a handle by his/her hand. A computational algorithm systematically computes control commands to a wearable robot with actuators (an exoskeleton robot, or a power-assisting device) so that a desired muscle activation pattern for target muscle forces is induced. This individual muscle control method enables users (e.g., therapists) to efficiently conduct neuromuscular function tests for target muscles by arbitrarily inducing muscle activation patterns. Simulation results justify the use of an exoskeleton robot for muscle function testing in terms of the variety of muscle activity data.

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