MIRA University of Twente
Department of Biomechanical Engineering

Design of a wearable arm support with passive gravity compensation (Arjen Bergsma)


Arjen Bergsma


VU Amsterdam/ Biomedical Engineering (BMT)


Bewegen is Bijzonder


Prof. dr. ir. H.F.J.M. Koopman (BW)

Dr. ir. J.L. Herder (TU Delft)

Ing. M.I. Paalman (VU Amsterdam, contact)

Dr. ir. J. Harlaar (VUMc Amsterdam)

Ir. D. de Lange (BW)

Starting date:


Arjen Bergsma




Design of a wearable arm support with passive gravity compensation


Adolescents with Duchenne Muscular Disease (DMD) suffer mild to severe loss of muscle function. At certain moment, the shoulder and elbow muscles become too weak to lift the arm and hand against gravity and at certain moment, independent execution of daily tasks is not possible anymore. The aim of the project ‘bewegen is bijzonder’ is to develop a new orthotic device for children and adolescents with DMD, which enables them to execute relevant daily tasks independently without a noticeable device.


The goal of this thesis is to design several concepts of such a device and develop a simple prototype which could be used for testing.


First, a literature study will be done to investigate what kinds of devices are available to support the arm function and which techniques have been used. After this research, the requirements will be listed. To get an idea of the required torques, a model will be made which describes the dynamics of several daily tasks. There are kinematic datasets of some daily tasks available from the VU and this data will be used for the calculations.

Based on the requirements, several concepts will be designed and finally a prototype will be developed.

Further information

No further information.