The Kinarm End-Point Lab is a versatile research facility to study sensory, motor and cognitive function.
Standard system includes:
- One or two hand-graspable, end-effector Kinarm End-Point robots
- Dexterit-E™ experimental control software and hardware
- Vertical display or 2D virtual/augmented reality (AR/VR) display (60 Hz or 120 Hz)
- Optional Kinarm Gaze Tracker™
- Optional Adjustable Height Configuration (AHC) with integrated force plates
- Optional Kinarm Standard Tests™
Download our brochure [pending update]
Key features include:
High Performance Robot
The Kinarm End-Point robot is a stiff, graspable robot that can create highly complex mechanical environments. The system’s high-resolution secondary encoders and (optional) force/torque sensors provide outstanding feedback signals. Its handle can be exchanged to support 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 a bilateral version post-purchase, subject to component availability.
Kinarm End-Point Labs are modular in design, providing a simple way to build a lab over time as needs and funds expand. For instance, start with a single robot and data acquisition system with the possibility of later upgrading to a lab with two robots and integrated VR/AR displays.
Easy To Use and Powerful Software
The Lab includes our operating and control software Dexterit-E™, which allows users to implement their research protocol without having to be professional programmers. Dexterit-E combines the power of a real-time operating system with the ease of a Windows® -based interface.
2D Virtual/Augmented Reality Display (Optional)
Supplement Kinarm End-Point Lab with a 2D virtual/augmented reality (AR/VR) display to allow for natural, intuitive presentation of visual stimuli.
Integrated Gaze-Tracking (Optional)
Include 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 our brochure.
Standing or Sitting Use (Optional)
An Adjustable Height Configuration (AHC) is available for postural research, allowing use of the robots while the subject is standing on force plates or in a sitting position. The AHC upgrade is available for all Kinarm End-Point Labs.
Deluxe Chair (Upgrade)
Our Deluxe chair, sourced from Mercado of Sweden, provides superior torso support and usability with powered height adjustment and single lever locking.
Unilateral Robot, Dexterit-E & Virtual Reality Configuration
A good starter configuration includes a robot with data acquisition system with Dexterit-E, 2D VR/AR display, robot stand and 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.
Bilateral Robots, Dexterit-E & Virtual Reality Configuration
Our most popular configuration includes 2 robots, force/torque sensors, robot stand and chair, data acquisition system with Dexterit-E, 2D VR/AR display, and gaze-tracker.
Unilateral Robot & Dexterit-E Configuration
Our lowest price option includes a single Kinarm End-Point Robot, and data acquisition system with Dexterit-E and vertical display.
Note: The new version (PN 14332) of Kinarm End-Point Lab™ is available for purchase as of January 2021. The first version (PN 10288) was released in 2009 and in production up to December 2020.
Standard Components include:
- One Kinarm End-Point robot
- Dexterit-E™ experimental control software and hardware, with computer systems and a library of Simulink® blocks to assist with rapid custom task program creation (MATLAB® and Simulink® must be purchased separately)
- Unlimited Dexterit-E Explorer™ downloads for data visualization
Optional Components include:
- Second Kinarm End-Point robot for simultaneous right- and left-handed investigation
- 6 degree-of-freedom force/torque sensors
- Workstation to support Kinarm End-Point robots and subject display
- Subject display options of vertical display or integrated 2D VR/AR display (standard 60 Hz but for vision scientists requiring low latency display, we provide an optional 120Hz LCD display or a customized VR/AR with a DLP PROPixx projector, both from VPixx)
- Integrated gaze-tracking via Kinarm Gaze-Tracker™ (requires integrated 2D VR/AR)
- Data acquisition hardware, including up to 32 channels of analog input, 4 channels of analog output and 30 channels of digital input/output
- Kinarm Standard Tests™ which can be used to enable immediate data collection, analysis and reporting, without the need for programmers
- Choice of Standard Chair or Deluxe Chair
Robot & System Specifications
- Maximum continuous end-point force: 19 N
- Maximum intermittent (<5s duration) end-point force: 58 N
- Feedback resolution of 2 microns
- End-point stiffness (mechanical planar) of ~40,000 N/m
- 76 cm x 44 cm elliptical workspace per robot; 118 cm x 44 cm combined elliptical workspace for bilateral system.
- Effective inertia of 0.8/1.1 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.
- Force/torque sensor:
- maximum range (x/y): 80 N; resolution: 0.02N
- Real-time control of experiment at 4 kHz (with R2015 SP1 and later); data acquisition at 1 kHz or optionally down-sampled to 200 Hz.
- Handle can be exchanged for Kinarm-provided handle with wrist support or a third party grip force handle
- Minimum suggested lab size 10’x10′ (3 m x 3m)
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
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
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 behaviour suite.
Supported Subject Sizes
Height and weight range: The AHC electronically adjusts the Kinarm End-Point Robot height 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″ (211 cm) tall; and weight < 400 lb (182 kg).
Required Room Dimensions
It is recommended that the room dimensions are at least:
- 15′ x 12′ (460 cm x 370 cm) uncarpeted floor space. This includes space for a desk for the operator to use the computer control system.
- 8′-10″ (270 cm) 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 force-torque sensors (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 from Bertec 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″/200 cm) 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.
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, Kinarm has provided an optional handle that provides some gravity support to the hand.
We created a custom “rollable” 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 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 which 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.