Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Rajiv Dubey, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Craig Lusk, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Shuh-Jing Ying, Ph.D.


Barrett hand, camera, sensors, MatLab, C++, vision, laser range finder


This research presents an approach in assisting the control and operation of a rehabilitation robot manipulator to execute simple grasping tasks for persons with severe disabilities. It outlines the development of an end-effector sensory suite that includes the BarrettHand end-effector, laser range finder, and a low cost camera.

The approach taken in this research differs greatly from the currently available rehabilitation robot arms in that it requires minimal user instruction, it is easy to operate and more effective for persons severely disabled. A thorough study of the currently available systems; Manus, Raptor and Kares II arm, is also presented.

In order to test the end-effector sensory suite, experiments were performed to find the centroid of an object of interest to direct the robot end-effector towards it with minimal error. Analyses of centroid location data to ensure accurate results are also presented.

The long term goal of this research is to significantly enhance the ability of severely disabled persons to perform activities of daily living using wheelchair mounted robot arms. The sensory suite developed through this project is expected to be integrated into a seven-degree of freedom wheelchair mounted robot arm currently under development at the Rehabilitation Robots Laboratory at the University of South Florida.