UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Validation of the UBC powered upper limb orthosis simulator Sahebjavaher, Daryoush


Paresis in the upper limb is a condition that leaves the users with flail or severely weakened arms, prohibiting them from being able to perform common everyday tasks such as reaching and grasping objects, eating, drinking, cooking, performing personal hygiene, etc. The UBC Powered Upper Limb Orthosis (UBC-PULO) is a wearable, highly-functional assistive device that supports and restores the functions necessary to one entire arm, enabling users to perform high-priority daily living tasks. Previous work towards achieving this goal has included: developing user specifications, identifying desired tasks and arm motions required to perform them, establishing design specifications and evaluation criteria, developing a control strategy along with hardware and software for the device, and completing the construction of an orthosis prototype with user control interfaces. Recently, a virtual reality simulation environment (VRSE) has been developed for the UBC-PULO which models the control system and electro-mechanical exoskeleton. The VRSE is a tool that can be used for optimization of the control system and testing current or new exoskeleton designs, and has the potential for screening and training of potential users but only if it properly mimics the real physical orthosis device. Therefore, the final objective of this research is to validate the VRSE against the physical prototype. The steps needed to achieve this final objective in the UBC-PULO project include reviewing the state of the current prototype, performing work to commission the device and interfaces, development and implementation of an experimental setup to allow for validation, development of representative control input parameters for proper simulation of the physical device, and testing to validate the VRSE against the physical prototype. The research work described in this thesis responds to these needs by performing a review of the current electrical and mechanical state of the prototype, proposing and implementing a range of design improvements necessary for commissioning the prototype system, development and implementation of a completely new electronic platform along with the necessary software, and performing tests to validate the VRSE.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International