MIRA University of Twente
Department of Biomechanical Engineering

Department of Biomechanical Engineering

Robot Aided Rehabilitation – Design of a supination actuator


Twente University


(Bio-)Mechanical engineering


Robotic Aided Neuro rehabilitation of arm and hand functioning – MIAS-ATD


Ard Westerveld (daily supervisor)



http://www.healthhabits.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/supination.jpgThe MIAS-ATD project aims at integrating robotics with electrical stimulation. Integrating training of the hand makes it possible train functional meaningful movements and motivate patients during therapy. Grasping objects is part of multiple functional movements in daily life. It becomes difficult or even impossible to grasp for a large number of patients (like spinal cord injury, hemiplegia due to stroke, Duchenne muscular disease, Multiple Sclerosis and many others).

For a reasonable amount of objects grasped in daily living, the orientation of the hand is very important (think of grasping a cup with hot coffee, for instance). Some patients (like most stroke survivors) often have difficulties with their control of supination movements. To help these patients regain functional independency, assistance of supination movements during therapy is desirable.


Assisting supination with surface electrical stimulation is not possible, because the supinator muscle lies deep in the muscle layer of the forearm, below other muscles. Therefore mechanical assistance of this movement is needed if the patient is incapable of controlling their supinator muscle sufficiently. The goal of this assignment is to design such a device (actuator) which can provide the desired assistance during the grasp of objects.



Browse literature for existing systems


Identify key requirements


Write specifications


Design actuator(s)


Develop prototype


Develop test setup


Test final design

More information:

Ard Westerveld, MSc

Room HR W215

Email: a.j.westerveld@utwente.nl