The Kinarm End-Point Lab is a versatile research facility to study sensory, motor and cognitive function.
BKIN’s standard system includes:
• One or two hand-graspable, end-effector Kinarm robots
• Vertical display or 2D virtual/augmented reality display, with optional 120Hz low latency display
• Optional Deluxe Chair for neurologically impaired subjects
• Optional Adjustable Height Configuration with integrated force plates and gaze-tracking.
• Dexterit-E™ experimental control software and hardware
Key features include:
High Performance Robot
The Kinarm End-Point robot is a stiff, graspable robot that can create highly complex mechanical environments. High-resolution secondary encoders and force/torque sensors provide outstanding feedback signals. Handle is exchangeable for grip force studies.
Designed for Bilateral Studies
The Lab was designed to be bilateral, ensuring simultaneous control of both KINARM End-Point robots which is essential for comparison of inter-arm performance and the study of bimanual coordination. Any unilateral system can be upgraded to bilateral post purchase (subject to component availability).
2D Virtual/Augmented Reality
Optional 2D virtual reality display for natural, intuitive presentation of visual stimuli. For vision scientists requiring low latency display, we are also able to provide a 120 Hz low latency display or a customized DLP projection with PROPixx.
Kinarm End-Point Labs are modular in design, providing a simple way to build a lab over time as needs and funds expand. Start with a single, robot and data acquisition system and upgrade later to a deluxe lab with two robots and integrated virtual/augmented (subject to component availability).
Standing or Sitting Use (optional)
An Adjustable Height configuration is available for postural research to enable use of the robots while the subject is standing on force plates or sitting; compatible with subject sizes ranging from 38″ (96.5 cm) (~5 yrs old) to 84″ (2.1 m) tall.
Any existing Kinarm End-Point Lab can be upgraded to the AHC.
Integrated Gaze-Tracking (optional)
A head-free gaze-tracker solution (customized EyeLink1000+) that: simplifies experimental set-up, ensuring nothing interferes with the head which is especially important in clinical research; and is easily accommodated in the Kinarm Virtual Reality System where space is limited. Any existing KINARM Lab can be upgraded to include gaze-tracking. Download tech sheet.
Deluxe Chair (upgrade)
Our new Deluxe chair, sourced from Mercado of Sweden, provides superior torso support and usability with powered height adjustment and single lever locking.
Easy To Use and Powerful
System includes Dexterit-E behavioural control and data acquisition software, which combines the power of a real-time operating system with the ease of a Windows™-based interface. Kinarm Standard Tests can be used to enable immediate data collection, analysis and reporting, without the need for programmers.
Standard Unilateral or Bilateral Robots &
A good starter configuration includes a robot with secondary encoder, data acquisition system with Dexterit-E, Virtual Reality Display, robot stand and locking chair
Adjustable Height Configuration with Gaze-Tracking
This fully featured option is a highly flexible research platform to study upper limb voluntary control and its integration with whole body postural control.
Deluxe Unilateral or Bilateral Robots, Dexterit-E & Integrated Virtual Reality
Our most popular configuration adds integrated virtual reality and options such as 6-degree of freedom force/torque sensors in the end-points. The configuration includes: 1 or 2 robots, secondary encoders, force/torque sensors, robot stand and chair, virtual reality display, data acquisition system with Dexterit-E and optional gaze-tracker.
Unilateral Robot & Dexterit-E
Our lowest price option includes a single Kinarm End-Point Robot, and data acquisition system with Dexterit-E and desktop display.
Select from these components of Kinarm End-Point Lab
- One or two Kinarm End-Point robots
- High-resolution secondary encoders are now standard (Jul-19)
- 6 degree-of-freedom force/torque sensors
- Workstation to support Kinarm End-Point robots and subject display
- Desktop display or integrated virtual/augmented reality presentation of 2D virtual targets in the workspace plane, with optional 120 Hz display
- Standard Chair or Deluxe Chair
- Dexterit-E™ experimental control software and hardware
- A library of Simulink® blocks to assist with rapid custom task program creation (MATLAB® and Simulink® must be purchased separately)
- Kinarm Standard Tests
- Control hardware to run Dexterit-E (including a real-time computer for precise and safe action)
- Data acquisition hardware, including up to 32 channels of analog input, 4 channels of analog output and 30 channels of digital input/output.
- Kinarm Gaze-Tracker (requires integrated virtual reality)
Robot & System Specifications
- Peak torque pulse of 58 N
- Feedback resolution of 3 microns with secondary encoders (pre Sep-19 systems had resolution of 15 microns without SE)
- End-point stiffness (mechanical planar) of ~40,000 N/m with secondary encoders (older systems without had a stiffness of 16,000 N/m without)
- 76 cm x 44 cm elliptical workspace per robot; 118 cm x 44 cm combined elliptical workspace for bilateral system.
- Effective inertia of 0.8/1.0 kg (minor/major axes). Lightweight mechanical design of the robot, and use of torque motors, negate the need for inertial compensation or impedance/admittance control. All robots are back-driveable.
- Real-time control and data acquisition at 1 kHz
- Handle can be exchanged for Kinarm provided handle with wrist support or third party grip force handle
- Minimum suggested lab size 10’x10′ (3 m x 3m)
Deluxe Chair Specifications
- Rechargeable electric seat height adjustment
- 4-point locking system
- Harness and lap belt for subject torso support
- Non-swivel, rollable chair rated to 330 lb/150 kg
Kinarm Gaze-Tracker Specifications
- Sampling Rate: 500 Hz.
- Subject Setup: requires a quick 13 point calibration
- Resolution: 0.05°RMS; saccade resolution of 0.25°
- Accuracy: ~0.5° with minimal head movement; up to ~1° with extreme head motion
- Workspace Area: elliptically shaped of ~50 cm x ~30 cm (~55° in the horizontal; ~40° in the vertical). The range does not cover the entire Virtual Reality workspace which is 76 cm x 44 cm. The gaze-tracker is centered in the middle of the KINARM Lab workspace to optimize the range.
- Recovery from Loss of Tracking: fast recovery through use of target sticker.
- Download Tech Sheet.
Adjustable Height Configuration (AHC)
Subjects can sit or stand in the lab and interact with 1 or 2 robots at any height. Safety is assured with a fall arrest system. Integrated force-plates capture postural information. The retracting virtual reality display allows use of the plates on their own. Optional integrated gaze-tracking completes the whole-body behavior suite.
Supported Subject Sizes
Range of Heights & Weight: The AHC electronically adjusts the Kinarm End-Point Robot heights to enable comfortable use of the robot standing or sitting. Subjects can range in height from 38″ (96.5 cm; ~5 yrs old) to 84″/7′ (2.1 m) tall; and weight < 400 lb (182 kg). Space requirements: 15′ x 12′ (4.6 m x 3.7 m) and 8′-10″ (2.7 m) ceiling height for unrestricted operation.
Required Room Dimensions
It is recommended that the room dimensions are at least:
- 15′ x 12′ (4.6 m x 3.7 m) uncarpeted floor space. This includes space for a desk for the operator to use the computer control system.
- 8′-10″ (2.7 m) ceiling height for unrestricted operation.
- Robot lift only
- Lift, platform and force plate(s)
- Lift, platform, force plates and gaze-tracker
- One or two Kinarm End-Point Robots
- Robot upgrades of secondary encoders and force-torque sensors (both highly recommended)
- Kinarm Gaze-Tracker (optional)
- Kinarm Standard Tests (Note available tests do not use, or report, gaze-tracking or force plate data in the analyses. This data is available for external analysis through the data export feature in Dexterit-E.)
- Multi-axis force plates are mounted in a platform that rests on existing lab-floor (1 or 2 plate configuration available)
- Platform is 8″ (20 cm) above the floor
- Plates may be optionally set into an existing floor by the customer
- Platform width (6′-6″/2 m) is sufficient to enable use of the Lab in “stand-up” or “sit-down” mode with the chair remaining on the platform.
- Virtual Reality Display can retract or swing “up and away” to enable use of force plates without interference from the display.
- Subject Fall Arrest system is standard on all systems ensuring subject safety during experiments.
The Kinarm End-Point Lab is the system of choice when high stiffness and hand-based haptic feedback is part of the experimental protocol. Studies range from human motor control and learning in altered visual or mechanical environments, to solving complex cognitive problems, to eye-hand coordination.
For example, the Kinarm End-Point robot is excellent at creating haptic fields that simulate a wall. The robot’s mechanical stiffness is 40,000 N/m. Haptic walls are created by implementing a very stiff spring; the stiffest spring possible is ~10,000 N/m. When the mechanical stiffness is combined with the model of the spring, the stiffness that the subject actually feels is 8,000 N/m. As a comparison, the classic studies involving force channels used a spring of 6,000 N/m.
The primary limitation with the End-Point Lab is that no information on the kinematics or kinetics of the elbow or shoulder are captured, nor can either joint be controlled.
For vision scientists requiring low latency display, we have successfully customized the VR/AR with a PROPixx projector from VPixx.
NHP neurophysiology studies or training
While the Kinarm End-Point Lab was originally designed for the needs of human research, the system is sufficiently robust to support NHP use. Some of our NHP Exoskeleton customers use the Kinarm End-Point Lab to provide colony-based training for NHPs.
The Kinarm End-Point Lab has been customized for NHP use including adjustable robot stand, VR presentation consistent with Exoskeleton Lab design, and our NHP chair.
While the Kinarm Exoskeleton Lab is generally recommended for researchers studying acute stroke because of the need for gravity support to the upper-limb, some customers have chosen to use the Kinarm End-Point Lab for chronic stroke studies. For these users, BKIN has provided an optional handle that provides some gravity support to the hand.
We created a custom “rollable” KINARM End-Point Lab for a customer conducting research in the emergency room of the university hospital. Allowing the Lab to move to the “point-of-care” minimized subject movement in the ER.
A number of studies are underway in out-patient settings trying to identify more sensitive tools for neurological impairment. An example is in Cardiac Arrest where, using KINARM Standard Tests, the study has identified impairments following discharge in otherwise “healthy” subjects. Family members’ concerns brought them to the clinic.
Identification of objective measures for return-to-play decisions following concussion is an area of high need. A number of research studies are underway with the Adjustable Height Configuration for the KINARM End-Point Lab. With the additional benefit of collecting postural data during use of KINARM Standard Tests, the researchers are hoping to identify sensitive markers for return-to-play decisions.
Integration with Third-Party Systems
Kinarm Labs can interact with many other technologies. In all cases, the data from the external systems can be acquired by the Kinarm Lab in real-time to ensure that the data is synchronized both for post-experiment analysis, and for online use. Examples include: EMG, EEG, TMS – any technology that accepts digital or analog inputs/outputs. For example, see Torrecillos, et al, 2014 for publication that recorded EEG simultaneously with reaching movements in the Kinarm Exoskeleton. We can help you implement your custom task program to integrate inputs and output stimuli for your specific paradigm.