UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Control system development for a powered upper-limb orthosis Brown, Dale


The objective of this research project work is to develop an efficient and simple control strategy and design associated signal input devices for a powered upper-limb orthosis. The criteria are to miniiriize the complexity of the control operations required by the user and to improve reliability of a powered orthosis while maintaining the capability to perform daily living tasks. This goal has been achieved through three stages of research. In the first stage, the UBC orthosis design was optimized for modularity, manufacturability, and assembly. In the second stage, potential control technologies were reviewed, adapted, and modified to suit the UBC orthosis. In the final stage, a control strategy and signal input hardware were developed. The unique contribution of this research is the adaptation of end-point control strategies to efficiently control the orthosis as opposed to the complex task of sequentially moving each joint separately. Also, the development of intuitive and easy to operate proportional and logical control signal input devices reduces the demands placed on the user. In addition, the transfer of control system complexities from the user to a microcontroller results in a more user-friendly set of devices. Upon implementation of the control software, testing for mechanical range of motion, speed of response, mode switching, safety mechanisms, and visual status feedback was performed. Rigorous laboratory testing of the orthosis and control devices with UBC researchers is recommended, followed by clinical testing of the device with several potential users.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.