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Applied Bionics and Biomechanics
Volume 6 (2009), Issue 2, Pages 115-126
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/11762320902959250

A Force-Feedback Exoskeleton for Upper-Limb Rehabilitation in Virtual Reality

Antonio Frisoli,1 Fabio Salsedo,1 Massimo Bergamasco,1 Bruno Rossi,2 and Maria C. Carboncini2

1PERCRO, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy
2Neurorehabilitation Unit, Department of Neuro sciences, University of Pisa, Italy

Received 1 April 2009

Copyright © 2009 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This paper presents the design and the clinical validation of an upper-limb force-feedback exoskeleton, the L-EXOS, for robotic-assisted rehabilitation in virtual reality (VR). The L-EXOS is a five degrees of freedom exoskeleton with a wearable structure and anthropomorphic workspace that can cover the full range of motion of human arm. A specific VR application focused on the reaching task was developed and evaluated on a group of eight post-stroke patients, to assess the efficacy of the system for the rehabilitation of upper limb. The evaluation showed a significant reduction of the performance error in the reaching task (paired t-test, p < 0.02)