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Traditional assessment of a stroke subject's motor ability, carried out by a therapist who observes and rates the subject's motor behavior using ordinal measurements scales, is subjective, time consuming and lacks sensitivity. Rehabilitation robots, which have been the subject of intense inquiry over the last decade, are equipped with sensors that are used to develop objective measures of motor behaviors in a semiautomated way during therapy. This article reviews the current contributions of robot-assisted motor assessment of the upper limb. It summarizes the various measures related to movement performance, the models of motor recovery in stroke subjects and the relationship of robotic measures to standard clinical measures. It analyses the possibilities offered by current robotic assessment techniques and the aspects to address to make robotic assessment a mainstream motor assessment method.

(C) 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.