The Use of Robotics Technology to Study Human Joint Kinematics: A New Methodology

[+] Author and Article Information
Hiromichi Fujie, Savio L.-Y. Woo, Glen A. Livesay

Musculoskeletal Research Center, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Kiyoshi Mabuchi

Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine, Kitasato University, Kanagawa, Japan 228

Shinji Arai

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Aichi, Japan 461

Yukio Tsukamoto

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine, Kitasato University, Kanagawa, Japan 228

J Biomech Eng 115(3), 211-217 (Aug 01, 1993) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2895477 History: Received April 03, 1992; Revised August 21, 1992; Online March 17, 2008


Robotics technologies have been modified to control and measure both the force and position of synovial joints for the study of joint kinematics. One such system was developed to perform kinematic testing of a human joint. A 6-axis articulated robotic manipulator with 6 degrees of freedom (DOF) of motion was designed and constructed; a mathematical description for joint force and position was devised; and hardware and software to control forces applied to the joint, as well as position of the joint, were developed. The new methodology was utilized to simulate physiological loading conditions and to perform an anterior-posterior (A-P) translation test on a human cadaveric knee. Testing showed that this new system can simulate complex loading conditions and also measure the resulting joint kinematics.

Copyright © 1993 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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