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Design Innovation Paper

Two-Digit Robotic Exoskeleton Glove Mechanism: Design and Integration

[+] Author and Article Information
Eric Refour

ASME Student Member, Robotics and Mechatronics Laboratory, Electrical & Computer Engineering Dept., Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24060
erefour@vt.edu

Bijo Sebastian

ASME Student Member, Robotics and Mechatronics Laboratory, Mechanical Engineering Dept., Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24060
bijo7@vt.edu

Pinhas Ben-Tzvi

ASME Member, Robotics and Mechatronics Laboratory, Mechanical Engineering Dept., Electrical & Computer Engineering Dept., Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24060
bentzvi@vt.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038775 History: Received September 21, 2017; Revised December 12, 2017

Abstract

This paper presents the design and integration of a two-digit robotic exoskeleton glove mechanism. The proposed glove is designed to assist the user with grasping motions, such as the pincer grasp, while maintaining a natural coupling relationship among the finger and thumb joints, resembling that of a normal human hand. The design employs single degree of freedom linkage mechanisms to achieve active flexion and extension of the index finger and thumb. This greatly reduces the overall weight and size of the system making it ideal for prolonged usage. The paper describes the design, mathematical modeling of the proposed system, detailed electromechanical design, and software architecture of the integrated prototype. The prototype is capable of recording information about the index finger and thumb movements, interaction forces exerted by the finger/thumb on the exoskeleton, and can provide feedback through vibration. In addition, the glove can serve as a standalone device for rehabilitation purposes, such as assisting in achieving tip or pulp pinch. The paper concludes with an experimental validation of the proposed design by comparing the motion produced using the exoskeleton glove on a wooden mannequin with that of a natural human hand.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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