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Journal of Robotics
Volume 2013, Article ID 610589, 13 pages
Research Article

Exoskeleton Technology in Rehabilitation: Towards an EMG-Based Orthosis System for Upper Limb Neuromotor Rehabilitation

1Robotics Innovation Center, German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), Robert-Hooke-Straße 5, Bremen, Germany
2Robotics Lab, University of Bremen, Robert-Hooke-Straße 5, Bremen, Germany

Received 19 July 2013; Accepted 14 October 2013

Academic Editor: Kazuhiko Terashima

Copyright © 2013 Luis Manuel Vaca Benitez 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 rehabilitation of patients should not only be limited to the first phases during intense hospital care but also support and therapy should be guaranteed in later stages, especially during daily life activities if the patient’s state requires this. However, aid should only be given to the patient if needed and as much as it is required. To allow this, automatic self-initiated movement support and patient-cooperative control strategies have to be developed and integrated into assistive systems. In this work, we first give an overview of different kinds of neuromuscular diseases, review different forms of therapy, and explain possible fields of rehabilitation and benefits of robotic aided rehabilitation. Next, the mechanical design and control scheme of an upper limb orthosis for rehabilitation are presented. Two control models for the orthosis are explained which compute the triggering function and the level of assistance provided by the device. As input to the model fused sensor data from the orthosis and physiology data in terms of electromyography (EMG) signals are used.