This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Applications of Robotic Devices for Motor and Sensory Rehabilitation




Hailey, Rhet O.

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Mechanical Engineering


With the increase of individuals effected by neurological disease, individualized rehabilitation methods can allow for improvement. Robotic intervention in rehabilitation enables a standardized, individualized practice that can allow for a higher dose of assistive care and intensity. This thesis focuses on robotic applications for rehabilitation by quantifying effectiveness of active gravity compensation in upper extremity exoskeletons alongside observing performance of nerve stimulation through a rehabilitation device. Gravity compensation in upper body rehabilitation has been used to delineate loss of strength and dexterity in spinal cord injury impairments. Through measuring and identifying movement quality, upper limb exercises can be improved for increased movement quality, which is focused on in Chapter 2. The exploration of a robotic device for a non-invasive pharmaceutical treatment is utilized to facilitate nerve sensation and growth along with increased blood-flow when neuropathy of the foot is present in Chapter 3. Robotic intervention offers a standardized approach to rehabilitation that can improve motor and sensory impairment.