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A Cable-Actuated Robotic Lumbar Spine for Palpatory Training of Medical Students

[+] Author Affiliations
Ernur Karadogan, Robert L. Williams, II

Ohio University, Athens, OH

Paper No. DETC2010-28863, pp. 309-318; 10 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2: 34th Annual Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Parts A and B
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, August 15–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4410-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3881-5
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


This paper presents the kinematic and pseudostatic analyses of a fully cable-actuated robotic lumbar spine (RLS) 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 between the first lumbar vertebra and the sacrum, with dimensions of an average adult human spine. 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 and lateral bending. This project focus is on palpation, but the spine robot could also benefit surgery training/planning and other related biomedical applications.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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