Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

The design of a five-degree-of-freedom powered orthosis for the upper limb

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Garth Johnson


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


In response to the need for a sophisticated powered upper-limb orthosis for use by people with disabilities and/or limb weakness or injury, the MULOS (motorized upper-limb orthotic system) has been developed. This is a five-degree-of-freedom electrically powered device having three degrees of freedom at the shoulder, one at the elbow and one to provide pronation/supination. The shoulder mechanism consists of a serial linkage having an equivalent centre of rotation close to that of the anatomical shoulder; this is a self-contained module in which power transmission is provided by tensioned cables. The elbow and pronation/supination modules are also self-contained. The system has been designed to operate under three modes of control: As an assistive robot attached directly to the arm to provide controlled movements for people with severe disability. In this case, it can be operated by a variety of control interfaces, including a specially designed five-degree-of-freedom joystick. Continuous passive motion for the therapy of joints after injury. The trajectory of the joints is selected by 'walk-through' programming and can be replayed for a given number of cycles at a chosen speed. As an exercise device to provide strengthening exercises for elderly people or those recovering from injury or surgery. This mode has not been fully implemented at this stage. In assistive mode, prototype testing has demonstrated that the system can provide the movements required for a range of simple tasks and, in continuous passive motion (CPM) mode, the programming system has been successfully implemented. Great attention has been paid to all aspects of safety. Future work is required to identify problems of operation, and to develop new control interfaces.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Johnson GR; Carus DA; Parrini G; Scattareggia Marchese S; Valeggi R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine

Year: 2001

Volume: 215

Issue: 3

Pages: 275-284

Print publication date: 01/01/2001

ISSN (print): 0954-4119

ISSN (electronic): 2041-3033

Publisher: Sage Publications


DOI: 10.1243/0954411011535867

PubMed id: 11436270


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric