We have analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of the robotic and mechanotherapeutic technologies used for rehabilitation of the upper limbs. Robotic and mechanotherapeutic devices started as simple controllers and upper limb weight support systems in kinesitherapy, but have subsequently shown their potential as systems for providing task oriented movement training, by efforts to maximize the correspondence between the features of anatomical and biomechanical arms. Integration of functional neuromuscular electrostimulation with robotic and mechanotherapeutic technology considerably widens the possibilities of using robots for rehabilitation and for providing mechanical assistance, while the appearance of portable and fixed exoskeletons is leading to completely new devices based on both rehabilitation and assistive technologies. Currently prototypes of robotic assistive and rehabilitation devices controlled by brain-computer interfaces are being developed.
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