Thèse de doctorat
Résumé : Many devices are available on the market for the evaluation and rehabilitation of patients suffering from muscular disorders. Most of them are small, low-cost, passive devices based on the use of springs and resistive elements and exhibit very limited (or even not any) evaluation capabilities; extended muscular force evaluation is only possible on stationary, expensive, multi-purpose devices, available only in hospitals, which offer many exercise modes (e.g. isokinetic mode) that are not available on other devices.

The objective of this thesis is to make the functionalities currently only implemented on bulky multi-purpose devices available at a lower cost and in a portable fashion, enabling their use by a large number of independent practitioners and patients, even at home (tele-medecine applications).

In order to achieve this goal, a portable rehabilitation device, using a magneto-rheological fluid brake as actuator, has been designed. This particular technology was selected for its high level of compactness, simple mechanical design, high controllability, smooth and safe operation. The first part of this thesis is devoted to the design of MR-fluid brakes and their experimental validation. The second part is dedicated to the design of the rehabilitation device and the comparison of its performances with a commercial multi-purpose device (CYBEX).