Elaine C. Lu, Rosalie Wang, Rajibul Huq, Don Gardner, Paul Karam, Karl Zabjek, Debbie Hebert, Jennifer Boger, Alex Mihailidis
March 30, 2012
Stroke is one of the major causes of permanent adult disability. Stroke frequently affects motor control of the arm, leading to diffculties in doing activities of daily living. This research focuses on developing an upper limb rehabilitation robotic prototype through user-centered design to aid stroke survivors in rehabilitating their arm. To gather requirements from end users, stroke therapy sessions were observed and a survey of stroke therapists was conducted. End user requirements were evaluated to determine technical targets for the mechanical design of the prototype. Evaluation of the prototype was done with stroke therapists in a focus group and a preliminary biomechanical study. As user-centered design would require more iterations of design, testing and evaluation, this project reports a first step in developing an affordable, portable device, which could increase access to stroke rehabilitation for the arm.