An exoskeleton robotic glove intended for patients who have suffered paralysis of the hand due to stroke or other factors has been developed and integrated. The robotic glove has the potential to aid patients with grasping objects as part of their daily life activities. Grasp stability was studied and researched by various research groups, but mainly focused on robotic grippers by devising conditions for a stable grasp of objects. Maintaining grasp stability is important so as to reduce the chances of the object slipping and dropping. But there was little focus on the grasp stability of robotic exoskeleton gloves, and most of the research was focused on mechanical design. A robotic exoskeleton glove was developed as well as novel methods to improve the grasp stability. The glove is constructed with rigidly coupled four-bar linkages attached to the finger tips. Each linkage mechanism has one-DOF (degree of freedom) and is actuated by a linear series elastic actuator (SEA). Two methods were developed to satisfy two of the conditions required for a stable grasp. These include deformation prevention of soft objects, and maintaining force and moment equilibrium of the objects being grasped. Simulations were performed to validate the performance of the proposed algorithms. A battery of experiments was performed on the integrated prototype in order to validate the performance of the algorithms developed.
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics Open Issues