More than 130,000 people have strokes each year in the United States [1]. Of these victims, 76% are left with disabilities that cost the nation over $54 billion in lost work and medical fees. One prominent disability is upper extremity hemiplegia, which occurs among approximately 50% of stroke sufferers [2]. Robotic technology has the potential to provide an automated platform for controled rehabilitation and assisted, task-oriented therapy.

Several systems have been designed to assist in patient articulation of an impaired hand using rigid robotic components. While these products have been successful in articulating the pure bending motions of the four fingers, the limited capabilities of rigid technologies fail to reproduce the complicated motion path [3] of the thumb during opposition grasp (see Fig. 1). This is the most important articulation for normal hand function and specifically for picking...

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