Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Dr. Rajni Patel


Lower extremity stroke rehabilitation exhausts considerable health care resources, is labor intensive, and provides mostly qualitative metrics of patient recovery. To overcome these issues, robots can assist patients in physically manipulating their affected limb and measure the output motion. The robots that have been currently designed, however, provide assistance over a limited set of training motions, are not portable for in-home and in-clinic use, have high cost and may not provide sufficient safety or performance. This thesis proposes the idea of incorporating a mobile drive base into lower extremity rehabilitation robots to create a portable, inherently safe system that provides assistance over a wide range of training motions. A set of rehabilitative motion tasks were established and a six-degree-of-freedom (DOF) motion and force-sensing system was designed to meet high-power, large workspace, and affordability requirements. An admittance controller was implemented, and the feasibility of using this portable, low-cost system for movement assistance was shown through tests on a healthy individual. An improved version of the robot was then developed that added torque sensing and known joint elasticity for use in future clinical testing with a flexible-joint impedance controller.