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 who 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 single-DOF pneumatic bending actuators (SPBAs) 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 multigait bending conforms with multipattern 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 (ROM), 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.
Design and Testing of a Soft Rehabilitation Glove Integrating Finger and Wrist Function
Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANISMS AND ROBOTICS. Manuscript received June 5, 2018; final manuscript received October 11, 2018; published online December 10, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Shaoping Bai.
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Wang, J., Liu, Z., and Fei, Y. (December 10, 2018). "Design and Testing of a Soft Rehabilitation Glove Integrating Finger and Wrist Function." ASME. J. Mechanisms Robotics. February 2019; 11(1): 011015. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4041789
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