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research-article

Design and testing of a soft rehabilitation glove integrating finger and wrist function

[+] Author and Article Information
Jiangbei Wang

Research Institute of Robotics, School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, Shanghai 200240
J.B.Wang@sjtu.edu.cn

Zhaoyu Liu

Research Institute of Robotics, School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, Shanghai 200240
lzy0422@sjtu.edu.cn

Yanqiong Fei

Professor, Research Institute of Robotics, School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, Shanghai 200240
fyq sjtu@163.com

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041789 History: Received June 05, 2018; Revised October 11, 2018

Abstract

This work presents a lightweight soft rehabilitation glove that integrates finger and wrist function by developing and applying the Double-DOF soft Pneumatic Bending Actuators (DPBAs). The proposed soft glove can achieve separate as well as coordinated motion exercises of fingers and the wrist, which benefits stroke patients that have complicated hand impairment. It consists of a commercial glove extended by a customized wrist bracer, on which are installed three dorsal DPBAs through fingers (index/middle/ring) and the wrist, two dorsal SPBAs (Single-DOF Pneumatic Bending Actuators) through thumb/pinky, and three palmar SPBAs through wrist. The proposed DPBA has two independent bendable segments to actuate flexion of finger and wrist respectively, whose multi-gait bending conforms with multi-pattern flexion of the biological hand. The SPBAs are used for actuating wrist extension or finger flexion. The proposed wrist bracer is designed as an extension of the glove to install the soft actuators and transfer their motion and force to the wearer's wrist efficiently as well as minimize unactuated restriction on the hand. To verify its feasibility, we evaluate the range of motion, strength and speed of five subjects' hands assisted by the glove in six different passive motions. Results show that the proposed glove can provide sufficient assistance for stroke patients in hand rehabilitation exercise. Furthermore, the soft glove has potential in extending the hand functional training from simple exercises such as closing/opening and gripping to complex ones such as weightlifting, writing and screwing/unscrewing.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
Topics: Actuators , Design , Testing
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