Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.S.M.E.

Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Rajiv Dubey, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Redwan Alqasemi, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Stephanie Carey, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nathan Crane, Ph.D.

Keywords

assistive, design, manipulator, rehabilitation, comparison

Abstract

Commercially available wheelchair-mounted robotic arms (WMRAs) are becoming more prevalent internationally but have yet to be largely developed and approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. The purpose of this study was to experimentally evaluate commercially available WMRAs in a controlled test environment. The goal was to quantitatively compare each device through a standardized testing protocol. The study produced theoretical manipulability measurements as well as efficacy ratings of each device based on Denavit-Hartenberg kinematic parameters and physical testing, respectively. Both the manipulator and control devices of WMRA systems were evaluated. The iARM WMRA system was presented to be more effective than the JACO WMRA system based on kinematic analysis. Despite this, the JACO system was shown to be more effective than the iARM system in three of four experimental tasks. Effective design features were brought to light with these results. The study and its procedures may serve as a source of quantitative and qualitative data for the commercially available WMRAs.

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