Technical Brief

Evaluation of an Arm Support With Trunk Motion Capability

[+] Author and Article Information
A. G. Dunning

Precision and Microsystems Engineering,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Delft University of Technology,
Delft 2628 CD, The Netherlands
e-mail: a.g.dunning@tudelft.nl

M. M. H. P. Janssen

Department of Rehabilitation,
Donders Center for Neuroscience,
Radboud University Medical Center,
Nijmegen 6500 HB, The Netherlands

P. N. Kooren

Department of Physics and Medical Technology,
VU Medical Center,
Amsterdam 1081 BT, The Netherlands

J. L. Herder

Precision and Microsystems Engineering,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Delft University of Technology,
Delft 2628 CD, The Netherlands

Manuscript received March 29, 2016; final manuscript received July 6, 2016; published online September 12, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Venketesh Dubey.

J. Med. Devices 10(4), 044509 (Sep 12, 2016) (4 pages) Paper No: MED-16-1201; doi: 10.1115/1.4034298 History: Received March 29, 2016; Revised July 06, 2016

Due to progressive muscle weakness, the arm function in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) reduces. An arm support can compensate for this loss of function. Existing arm supports are wheelchair bound, which restricts the ability to perform trunk movements. To evaluate the function of a body-bound arm support, a prototype (based on the Wilmington robotic exoskeleton (WREX) arm support) that allows trunk movements was built. In order to examine the effect of this device and to compare it with an existing wheelchair-bound device, three healthy subjects performed single joint movements (SJMs) and activities of daily living (ADL) with and without the devices. The range of motion (RoM) of the arm and the surface electromyography (sEMG) signal of five different arm muscles were measured. The range of motion increased when compared to the wheelchair-bound device, and the trunk motion was perceived as important to make specific movements easier and more natural, especially the more extreme movements like reaching for a far object and reaching to the top of the head. The sEMG signal was comparable to that of the wheelchair-bound device. This means that an arm support with trunk motion capability can increase the range of motion of the user, while the amount of support to the arm is equal.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Emery, A. E. H. , 1991, “ Population Frequencies of Inherited Neuromuscular Diseases—A World Survey,” Neuromuscular Disord., 1(1), pp. 19–29. [CrossRef]
Mendell, J. R. , Shilling, C. , Leslie, N. D. , Flanigan, K. M. , Al-Dahhak, R. , Gastier-Foster, J. , Kneile, K. , Dunn, D. M. , Duval, B. , Aoyagi, A. , Hamil, C. , Mahmoud, M. , Roush, K. , Bird, L. , Rankin, C. , Lilly, H. , Street, N. , Chandrasekar, R. , and Weiss, R. B. , 2012, “ Evidence-Based Path to Newborn Screening for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy,” Ann. Neurol., 71(3), pp. 304–313. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Eagle, M. , Baudouin, S. V. , Chandler, C. , Giddings, D. R. , Bullock, R. , and Bushby, K. , 2002, “ Survival in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: Improvements in Life Expectancy Since 1967 and the Impact of Home Nocturnal Ventilation,” Neuromuscular Disord., 12(10), pp. 926–929. [CrossRef]
Cardoso, L. F. , Tomazio, S. , and Herder, J. L. , 2002, “ Conceptual Design of a Passive Arm Orthosis,” ASME Paper No. DETC2002/MECH-34285.
Gopura, R. A. R. C. , Kiguchi, K. , and Bandara, D. S. V. , 2011, “ A Brief Review on Upper Extremity Robotic Exoskeleton Systems,” IEEE International Conference on Industrial and Information Systems, Vol. 8502, pp. 346–351.
Rahman, T. , Sample, W. , Jayakumar, S. , King, M. M. , Wee, J. Y. , Seliktar, R. , Alexander, M. , Scavina, M. , and Clark, A. , 2006, “ Passive Exoskeletons for Assisting Limb Movement,” J. Rehabil. Res. Dev., 43(5), pp. 583–590. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Dunning, A. G. , and Herder, J. L. , 2013, “ A Review of Assistive Devices for Arm Balancing,” IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR), Seattle, WA, June 24–26, p. 6650485.


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Prototype of a body-bound arm support with trunk motion capability: the existing WREX [6] (combined with a trunk parallelogram)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Results of the range of motion of the hand of a healthy user without the arm support, with the prototype with trunk motion capability (proto1) and with the WREX arm support, shown from the (a) front, (b) side, and (c) top of the user

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

sEMG measurements (normalized to the MVC), including ±1 SD from the average, of different muscles of three healthy subjects for drinking and reaching for a far object, without an arm support, with the prototype with trunk motion capability (proto1), and with the WREX arm support



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In