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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 2017, Article ID 1282934, 15 pages
Research Article

Upper Limb Rehabilitation Robot Powered by PAMs Cooperates with FES Arrays to Realize Reach-to-Grasp Trainings

1School of Industrial Design, Hubei University of Technology, Wuhan 430068, China
2School of Automation, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
3School of Mechanical Engineering, Hubei University of Technology, Wuhan 430068, China
4Advanced Innovation Center for Intelligent Robots and Systems, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China
5Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Jian Huang; nc.ude.tsuh.liam@naj_gnauh and Jiping He; ude.usa@eh.gnipij

Received 30 December 2016; Accepted 1 March 2017; Published 15 June 2017

Academic Editor: Chengzhi Hu

Copyright © 2017 Xikai Tu et al. 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.


The reach-to-grasp activities play an important role in our daily lives. The developed RUPERT for stroke patients with high stiffness in arm flexor muscles is a low-cost lightweight portable exoskeleton rehabilitation robot whose joints are unidirectionally actuated by pneumatic artificial muscles (PAMs). In order to expand the useful range of RUPERT especially for patients with flaccid paralysis, functional electrical stimulation (FES) is taken to activate paralyzed arm muscles. As both the exoskeleton robot driven by PAMs and the neuromuscular skeletal system under FES possess the highly nonlinear and time-varying characteristics, iterative learning control (ILC) is studied and is taken to control this newly designed hybrid rehabilitation system for reaching trainings. Hand function rehabilitation refers to grasping. Because of tiny finger muscles, grasping and releasing are realized by FES array electrodes and matrix scan method. By using the surface electromyography (EMG) technique, the subject’s active intent is identified. The upper limb rehabilitation robot powered by PAMs cooperates with FES arrays to realize active reach-to-grasp trainings, which was verified through experiments.