Soft Robotic Rehabilitation Exoskeleton (REHAB Glove) for Hand Therapy


This paper presents the design, control, and validation of a soft robotic exoskeleton system, the REHAB Glove, for hand rehabilitation. The system is comprised of five hybrid soft-andrigid robotic digits that apply controlled flexion and extension motion to fingers. The previous actuator design of the soft robotic digit was improved for kinematic compatibility with anatomical motions of the hand in relation to range of motion, center of rotation, and dorsal skin lengthening. The design was validated using motion capture and analysis. A position control algorithm, which controls finger angular trajectories (angular position and velocity), was developed based on motion sensor feedback. The operation of this algorithm was verified using a 90° digit tip trajectory with two angular velocities of 15°/sec and 30°/sec. A pilot study was carried out with five healthy individuals to evaluate the performance of the REHAB Glove in providing therapeutic schemes. The results show that the REHAB Glove is able to provide controlled motion compatible with the kinematics and dynamics of the human.

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Volume 3: 19th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle Technologies; 14th International Conference on Design Education; 10th Frontiers in Biomedical Devices