Six Degrees of Freedom Dynamometer

Period of Performance: 03/10/1993 - 09/09/1993


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Intelligent Automation, Inc.
15400 Calhoun Dr, Suite 190
Rockville, MD 20855
Principal Investigator


One of the most common types of physical rehabilitation equipment is an isokinetic machine. Isokinetic machines are used to both measure and stress the muscles in upper extremities, lower extremities, and trunk. There are thousands of isokinetic machines in daily use in physical therapy applications throughout the world. Virtually every outpatient physical therapy clinic, as well as chiropractors and some physician's offices have at least one of these machines. The primary shortfall with current dynamometers is that the motion they allow, and the forces they measure, are all limited to one plane at a time. A patient can move the dynamometer in the coronal plane, the sagittal plane, or the traverse plane, but not at the same time. In order to switch the machine from allowing one type of motion to allowing another requires the machine to be manually set up for the new operation by a therapist, and the set up operations can take several minutes. This proposal outlines a new concept in the construction of isokinematic machines. The resulting systems will provide not an incremental improvement, but will be a new generation of physical therapy equipment which provides measurement and control of motion in all six degrees of freedom simultaneously.