MIRA University of Twente
Department of Biomechanical Engineering

Department of Biomechanical Engineering

VirtuRob - Evaluation of the Limpact Exoskeleton.







VirtuRob project


Dr.ir. Herman van der Kooij

Dr.ir. Arno Stienen

Dr. Edwin van Asseldonk

Ir. Alexander Otten (contact)



Starting date:

Januari 2012


Stroke is the leading cause of disabilities in Western civilizations. The treatment of stroke patients is labor intensive and strongly dependent on the best-practice opinion of the rehabilitation center or the individual therapist. In the last decade, several therapeutic devices have been developed by research groups from around the world, which have made the therapy less labor intensive and provided the therapists and scientific community with more objectively gathered measurements. Unfortunately these devices are also still struggling to deliver significant functional improvement over regular therapy.

The Active Rehabilitation Project wishes to resolve the question if robotics can actually improve the functional recovery of upper limb function of stroke patients. And if so, how to achieve the optimal results. The Limpact is a robotic upper limb device that will be used for diagnostics in order to reach these optimal results. By actively controlling the joint axes of the shoulder and the elbow, the identification and training possibilities for persons with neurological disorders are unique compared to current devices.

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Figure 1 - Current state of the Limpact exoskeleton (courtesy of our technician Wouter Abbas)

Assignment Introduction

The Limpact is just recently operational and has never been tested for which is was built namely for motor learning tasks. The next step is to make the robot human friendly and to test it with healthy subjects, before it can be used on stroke patients.

Main Goal

An experiment needs to be designed in order to evaluate the exoskeleton. The main focus of the evaluation is the ability for the subject to move natural (zero impedance mode) and the exoskeletons usability in motor learning tasks. Points of interest are the “feel” when used in haptic VR environments and the human-machine interaction.



Literature study on the use of rehabilitation robotics used in motor learning tasks,


Define an experiment (task(s) and goal(s)) using the Limpact exoskeleton,


Design the impedance controller, VR environment and data evaluation tools,


Perform the experiment in healthy subjects,


Evaluate the results


Write a thesis.

More information

ir. Alexander Otten

Room: HR W215

Mail: a.otten@utwente.nl

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Figure 2 - Rendering of the Limpact exoskeleton in combination with VR (courtesy MOTEK Medical)