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Measuring the Dynamic Impedance of the Human Arm Open Access


Other title
Applications to Telerehabilitation and Robot-Assisted Motor Function Assessment
mechanical impedance
rehabilitation robotics
human arm
system identification
impedance measurement
control systems
virtual sensor
stability analysis
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Dyck, Matthew D.
Supervisor and department
Examining committee member and department
Lynch, Alan (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Carey, Jason (Mechanical Engineering)
Tavakoli, Mahdi (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Control Systems
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
This thesis presents techniques to measure the human arm's mechanical impedance using a rehabilitation robot, drawing applications to telerehabilitation and patient motor function assessment. Conventional teleoperation system stability analysis and control assumes the human operator remains passive and injects no net energy into the system. The validity of this assumption is evaluated by mathematically analyzing the passivity of empirical arm impedance models. The results show that the arm is passive when relaxed but may become active when participants rigidly hold their arm in place. This non-passive behaviour originates from the central nervous system's position control response. A novel, cost-effective impedance measurement technique is also presented, in which an expensive commercial force sensor is replaced by a virtual sensor incorporating a model of the robot's dynamics and kinematics. The technique is validated on a mass-spring system of known impedance and applied to the human arm.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
[1] M. Dyck, A. Jazayeri, and M. Tavakoli, “Is the human operator in a teleoperation system passive?,” in IEEE World Haptics Conference, Daejeon, Korea, 2013, pp. 683–688. [2] M. Dyck and M. Tavakoli, “Measuring the dynamic impedance of the human arm without a force sensor,” in IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, Seattle, WA, 2013. [3] A. Jazayeri, M. Dyck, and M. Tavakoli, “Stability analysis of teleoperation systems under strictly passive and non-passive operator,” in IEEE World Haptics Conference, Daejeon, Korea 2013, pp. 695–700.

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File title: Dedication
File title: Measuring the Dyanmic Impedance of the Human Arm
File author: �� Matthew David Dyck, University of Alberta, Faculty of Engineering
File author: ?? Matthew David Dyck, University of Alberta, Faculty of Engineering
File author: Matthew David Dyck, University of Alberta, Faculty of Engineering
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