Early clinical evaluation of a robot arm/worktable system for spinal-cord-injured persons

W. Seamone, G. Schmeisser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


In Part I, 'Developmental Case Study', this evaluation traces anecdotally the increasing application of microcomputer technology in a research program examining the uses of a robot arm in the rehabilitation of the high-spinal-cord-injured person. This program, supported by the Veterans Administration since 1974, built upon still earlier VA-supported work at Johns Hopkins on powered upper-limb prostheses. The Johns Hopkins University powered shoulder prosthesis served as the basis for the Robotic Arm/Worktable System, whose evolution is described in applications ranging from handling simple reading materials to self-feeding and the operation of a personal computer, all under the user's control through the same chin control interface employed for the control of the user's power wheelchair. Part II of this report focuses on the results of clinical evaluation in the development of the system. In the early stages of development, evaluation was provided by four subjects who used the system regularly for periods ranging from 4 months to a year. A later stage of evaluation featured a total of 16 subjects located in two VA Medical Centers, using the system for periods of from a few days to 4 months in duration. The VA's new Rehab R&D Evaluation Unit has begun an intensive evaluation process based upon 25 of the Robotic Arm/Worktable Systems currently on order.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-57
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of rehabilitation R&D
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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