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Research Papers

Haptic Hand Exoskeleton for Precision Grasp Simulation

[+] Author and Article Information
Marco Fontana

Assistant Professor
e-mail: m.fontana@sssup.it

Salsedo Fabio

Senior Researcher
e-mail: f.salsedo@sssup.it

Simone Marcheschi

Research Fellow
e-mail: s.marcheschi@sssup.it

Massimo Bergamasco

Full Professor
e-mail: m.bergamasco@sssup.it
PERCRO Laboratory,
TeCIP Institute,
Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna,
Piazza Martiri della Libertà 33,
Pisa 56127, Italy

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANISMS AND ROBOTICS. Manuscript received July 18, 2011; final manuscript received June 3, 2013; published online October 7, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Andreas Mueller.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 5(4), 041014 (Oct 07, 2013) (9 pages) Paper No: JMR-11-1080; doi: 10.1115/1.4024981 History: Received July 18, 2011; Revised June 03, 2013

This paper outlines the design and the development of a novel robotic hand exoskeleton (HE) conceived for haptic interaction in the context of virtual reality (VR) and teleoperation (TO) applications. The device allows exerting controlled forces on fingertips of the index and thumb of the operator. The new exoskeleton features several design solutions adopted with the aim of optimizing force accuracy and resolution. The use of remote centers of motion mechanisms allows achieving a compact and lightweight design. An improved stiffness of the transmission and reduced requirements for the electromechanical actuators are obtained thanks to a novel principle for integrating speed reduction into torque transmission systems. A custom designed force sensor and integrated electronics are employed to further improve performances. The electromechanical design of the device and the experimental characterization are presented.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Multiphalanx (left) and single-phalanx (right) scheme

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Fig. 2

Picture of the assembly of the realized hand exoskeleton without (left) and with tracking system (right)

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Fig. 3

Scheme of the quasi-anthropomorphic kinematics of the HE. Joints of the human finger are named jFi and joint of the haptic interface are named jHi. The picture refers to index finger scheme. The scheme for the thumb is analogous.

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Fig. 4

Implementation of the finger kinematics including the Remote Center of Motion mechanisms

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Fig. 5

Motor location and routing of transmission for the joint jH1

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Fig. 6

Possible schemes of transmission for the actuation of the RCM using: one idle pulley (left), two idle pulleys (center), and three idle pulleys (right)

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Fig. 7

Scheme of the cable-transmission routing for the actuation of joint jH2. Cable is represented in blue continuous line while flexion cable in red-dotted line.

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Fig. 8

Scheme of the transmission routing for the joint jH3. Extension cable is represented in blue continuous line while flexion cable in red-dotted line.

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Fig. 9

Scheme of the positioning of the force sensor (left) and scheme of the Maltese Cross structure of the force sensor (right)

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Fig. 10

Picture of the final PCBs of acquisition, driving electronics integrated (left) and conditioning (right)

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Fig. 11

On the top: Bode plot of the transfer function GuLo for different intensity of the chirp signals. On the bottom: Bode plot of the transfer function GuLo* with three different human finger in contact with the end-effector.

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Fig. 12

Setup for tests with users (left) and preliminary results showing the force tracking accuracy during the use of the system

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