A soft wearable robotic exoskeleton for rehabilitation of the frozen shoulder

Failes, J.F. and Lakany, H. and Conway, B. (2018) A soft wearable robotic exoskeleton for rehabilitation of the frozen shoulder. In: BioMedEng18, 2018-09-06 - 2018-09-07, Imperial College.

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Adhesive capsulitis (or "frozen shoulder"), is a joint condition resulting in pain and reduction to range of motion (ROM). Contemporary treatments can be effective but currently suffer from a number of drawbacks, including: high cost, lengthy treatment; lack of specificity to each patient; and lack of consistent, repetitive treatment between clinics and therapists [1]. Researchers are thus working to combat these drawbacks by developing rehabilitation exoskeletons. Traditional exoskeletons however aren’t always suitable, being rigid and heavy. Soft robotics may be suitable to overcome all of the above problems, combining the best of robotics (consistency, specificity) while being affordable and wearable through lightweight, compliant materials and design. A direction for the project has been presented, focusing on a pneumatic-based shoulder rehabilitation device, using IMUs as a primary sensor for feedback and control. There will be further detailed research into pneumatics, followed by CAD development to determine an appropriate and effective design. A prototype will be completed by the end of 2018.