Currently, wrist passive stiffness and active range of motion, two clinically relevant properties, are assessed using devices designed for rehabilitation. As a result, these devices do not have sufficient torque output and range of motion for complete wrist biomechanical assessment. To address these limitations, we are developing an actuation module specifically for assessing wrist biomechanical properties. Our device employs a serial kinematic exoskeletal architecture to directly interact with and measure wrist flexion/extension and radial/ulnar deviation. A Bowden cable-based actuation scheme, locating the motors off-board, was adopted for increased device range of motion and torque output compared with previous wrist exoskeletons. Additionally, the device was designed to incorporate a rotational elastic element at each joint, creating series elastic actuators, for accurate torque control and direct torque measurement. In this work, we present the design and demonstration of a 1-DOF module of the device, which can interact with a user’s wrist in flexion/extension, providing an important first step towards the control, evaluation, and application of the 2-DOF device.

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