The robotic lumbar spine (RLS) is a 15 degree-of-freedom, fully cable-actuated robotic lumbar spine which can mimic in vivo human lumbar spine movements to provide better hands-on training for medical students. The design incorporates five active lumbar vertebrae and the sacrum, with dimensions of an average adult human spine. It is actuated by 20 cables connected to electric motors. Every vertebra is connected to the neighboring vertebrae by spherical joints. Medical schools can benefit from a tool, system, or method that will help instructors train students and assess their tactile proficiency throughout their education. The robotic lumbar spine has the potential to satisfy these needs in palpatory diagnosis. Medical students will be given the opportunity to examine their own patient that can be programmed with many dysfunctions related to the lumbar spine before they start their professional lives as doctors. The robotic lumbar spine can be used to teach and test medical students in their capacity to be able to recognize normal and abnormal movement patterns of the human lumbar spine under flexion-extension, lateral bending, and axial torsion. This paper presents the dynamics and nonlinear control of the RLS. A new approach to solve for positive and nonzero cable tensions that are also continuous in time is introduced.
|Journal||Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine|
|State||Published - 2013|