A Review of Robot-assisted Hand Spasticity Assessment

Hao Yu, Alyson Nelson, Mustafa Suphi Erden

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Spasticity is a common neuromuscular abnormality following upper motor neuron lesions. Conventionally, spasticity is assessed through manual clinical scales, which have limitations due to the subjectivity involved. The development of rehabilitation robotics introduced new solutions to this problem, producing novel robot-assisted spasticity assessment approaches. In this article, we present the current state and challenges of robot-assisted hand spasticity assessment (RAHSA) based on a review of instrumented clinical scales, biomechanical and neurophysiological measures, and medical imaging methods for upper extremity spasticity assessment between January 2000 and February 2023. The characteristics of hand anatomy and spasticity symptoms make it challenging to develop RAHSA approaches and corresponding robotic systems. Although the combination of hand robots and instrumented assessment methods has evoked studies on RAHSA, more research is needed on the new assessment approaches fusing neurological and nonneurological measures and novel robotic systems specifically designed for hand spasticity assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems
Early online date21 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 May 2024


  • Extremities
  • Force
  • Hand
  • Instruments
  • Muscles
  • Reviews
  • Robot sensing systems
  • Robots
  • rehabilitation robotics
  • robot-assisted assessment
  • spasticity
  • upper extremity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Signal Processing
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications


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