Usability assessment of a cable-driven exoskeletal robot for hand rehabilitation

Yu Lin Tsai, Jian Jia Huang, Shu Wei Pu, Hsiang Peng Chen, Shao Chih Hsu, Jen Yuan Chang*, Yu Cheng Pei

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Robot-assisted rehabilitation mediated by exoskeletal devices is a popular topic of research. The biggest difficulty in the development of rehabilitation robots is the consideration of the clinical needs. This study investigated the usability of a novel cable-driven exoskeletal robot specifically designed for hand rehabilitation. Methods: The study consists of three steps, including prototype development, spasticity observation, and usability evaluation. First, we developed the prototype robot DexoHand to manipulate the patient’s fingers based on the clinical needs and the cable-driven concept established in our previous work. Second, we applied DexoHand to patients with different levels of spasticity. Finally, we obtained the system usability scale (SUS) and assessed its usability. Results: Two healthy subjects were recruited in the pre-test, and 18 patients with stroke and four healthy subjects were recruited in the formal test for usability. The total SUS score obtained from the patients and healthy subjects was 94.77 ± 2.98 (n = 22), indicating an excellent level of usability. The satisfaction score was 4.74 ± 0.29 (n = 22), revealing high satisfaction with DexoHand. The tension profile measured by the cables showed the instantaneous force used to manipulate fingers among different muscle tone groups. Conclusions: DexoHand meets the clinical needs with excellent usability, satisfaction, and reliable tension force monitoring, yielding a feasible platform for robot-assisted hand rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
JournalFrontiers in Neurorobotics
StatePublished - 13 02 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 Tsai, Huang, Pu, Chen, Hsu, Chang and Pei.


  • Exoskeleton
  • Rehabilitation device
  • Stroke
  • Upper distal limb rehabilitation
  • Usability


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