Most rehabilitation devices for the upper extremities include a weight-support system. In recent publications, weight support is shown to be effective for stroke rehabilitation. But current devices are often complex, have significant movement inertia, and/or limit the movement range. The goal of this study is to improve on current designs by introducing a novel, dedicated weight-support device, the Freebal. This passive mechanical device uses balanced spring mechanisms for constant-but-scalable forces to support the arm. It has a large workspace of roughly , low movement impedance, and independent support at the elbow and wrist of up to 5 kg. An explorative cross-sectional study with eight patients shows the Freebal to instantly extend the range of motion of the affected arm by 7%. In conclusion, most requirements are met for patients to benefit from therapy with the Freebal, potentially progressing earlier to more motivating, functional training.
Freebal: Design of a Dedicated Weight-Support System for Upper-Extremity Rehabilitation
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Stienen, A. H. A., Hekman, E. E. G., Prange, G. B., Jannink, M. J. A., van der Helm, F. C. T., and van der Kooij, H. (December 9, 2009). "Freebal: Design of a Dedicated Weight-Support System for Upper-Extremity Rehabilitation." ASME. J. Med. Devices. December 2009; 3(4): 041009. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4000493
Download citation file: