Robotic rehabilitation is a currently underutilised field with the potential to allow huge cost savings within healthcare. Existing rehabilitation exoskeletons oversimplify the importance of movement of the hand while undertaking everyday tasks. Within this study, an investigation was undertaken to establish the extent to which the degrees of freedom within the palm affect ability to undertake everyday tasks. Using a 5DT data glove, bend sensing resistors and restrictors of palm movement, 20 participants were recruited to complete tasks that required various hand shapes. Collected data was processed and palm arching trends were identified for each grasping task. It was found that the extent of utilizing arches in the palm varied with each exercise, but was extensively employed throughout. An exoskeleton was subsequently designed with consideration of the identified palm shapes. This design included a number of key features that accommodated for a variety of hand sizes, a novel thumb joint and a series of dorsally mounted servos. Initial exoskeleton testing was undertaken by having a participant complete the same exercises while wearing the exoskeleton. The angles formed by the user during this process were then compared to those recorded by 2 other participants who had completed the same tasks without exoskeleton. It was found that the exoskeleton was capable of forming the required arches for completing the tasks, with differences between participants attributed to individual ergonomic differences.
|Title of host publication||2015 37th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC)|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
|Event||37th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2015 - Milan, Milan, Italy|
Duration: 25 Aug 2015 → 29 Aug 2015
Conference number: 37
|Conference||37th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2015|
|Period||25/08/15 → 29/08/15|