ROAR lab publishes the first human subject results from an active upper body support for wheelchair users

November 22, 2019

People with severe neuromuscular trunk impairment cannot maintain or control upright posture of the upper body in sitting while reaching. Passive orthoses only support the torso without facilitating trunk movement. We introduce a novel active-assistive torso brace called Wheelchair Robot for Active Postural Support (WRAPS).

We evaluated the potential effectiveness of WRAPS as a therapeutic robotic tool in people with severe trunk control deficits. The performance of WRAPS was evaluated in seated healthy subjects. Kinematics and surface electromyography (sEMG) were collected when the participants performed selective trunk movements.  Our results show that the design of WRAPS suited well the subject’s anthropometrics while supporting the weight of the torso during dynamic upper body movements.