Graduate Studies


First Advisor

Carl Nelson

Date of this Version



A THESIS Presented to the faculty of the Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Under the supervision of Professor Carl A. Nelson. Lincoln, Nebraska: August, 2020

Copyright 2020 Mitchell A. Bruckner


Modular robots are robotic systems composed of multiple discrete “modules” that cooperate in order to complete a task. Modular robots have been investigated as extra-terrestrial explorers, space station manipulators, or in other applications with challenging and remote environments, as they can be more adaptable and robust than conventional robots. Robots in general are used increasingly in rehabilitative and assistive roles in a variety of medical contexts. For people with limited mobility, robots can provide liberating assistance, allowing individuals to complete tasks alone that would otherwise

require the help of another person. The varied needs of spinal cord injury patients suggest that a modular system may be more appropriate than a conventional robotic system for the purposes of rehabilitation and assistance. In this thesis an assistive modular robot system is presented. Heavy reliance on 3D printing and COTS components keeps costs down and allows replicating the system without specialized equipment.

Advisor: Carl A. Nelson