A Fully Fabric-Based Bidirectional Soft Robotic Glove for Assistance and Rehabilitation of Hand Impaired Patients
Published on Jul 1, 2017 in ICRA (International Conference on Robotics and Automation)
· DOI :10.1109/LRA.2017.2669366
This letter presents a fully fabric-based bidirectional soft robotic glove designed to assist hand impaired patients in rehabilitation exercises and performing activities of daily living. The glove provides both active finger flexion and extension for hand assistance and rehabilitative training, through its embedded fabric-based actuators that are fabricated by heat press and ultrasonic welding of flexible thermoplastic polyurethane-coated fabrics. Compared to previous developed elastomeric-based actuators, the actuators are able to achieve smaller bend radius and generate sufficient force and torque to assist in both finger flexion and extension at lower air pressure. In this letter, experiments were conducted to characterize the performances of the glove in terms of its kinematic and grip strength assistances on five healthy participants. Additionally, we present a graphical-user interface that allows user to choose the desired rehabilitation exercises and control modes, which include button-controlled-assistive mode, cyclic movement training, intention-driven task-specific training, and bilateral rehabilitation training.