Exoskeletons and robots have been used as a common practice to assist and automate rehabilitation exercises. Exoskeleton fitting and alignments are important factors and challenges that need to be addressed for smooth and safe operations and better outcomes. Such challenges often dictate the exoskeleton design approaches. Some focus on simplifying and mimicking human joints (joint-based) while others have a focus on a specific task (task-based), which does not need to align with the corresponding limb joint/s to generate the desired anatomical motion. In this study, the two design approaches are assessed in an elbow flexion-extension task. The muscle responses have been collected and compared with and without the exoskeletons. Based on 6 with no disability participants, the normalized Electromyography (EMG) RMS values are plotted. The plot profiles and magnitudes are used as a base to assess the exoskeleton alignment. For this specific task, the task-based exoskeleton has shown a profile closer to the one without exoskeleton with a relatively identical support as the joint-based one; the latter is evidenced through most subjects’ muscle response magnitudes. This preliminary data has shown a good methodology and insight towards the assessment of exoskeletons, but more human subject data is needed with different task combinations to further strengthen the findings.

This content is only available via PDF.