Design of a 3D printed hybrid mechanical structure for a hand exoskeleton

Jens Vertongen, Derek Kamper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Stroke survivors often have difficulty performing activities of daily living (ADLs) due to hand impairments. Several assistive devices have been developed for stroke survivors to assist them with ADLs but most of these devices are difficult to don and doff for a stroke survivor due to highly flexed postures of the wrist and digits. This paper presents a hybrid 3D printed mechanical structure for an assistive hand exoskeleton created for stroke survivors. The design facilitates donning and doffing of the assistive exoskeleton by enabling an approach entirely from the dorsal side of the hand, thereby allowing the fingers to stay flexed. The design criteria, resulting design and the prototype development are presented. The initial prototype of the structure, using a hybrid combination of rigid and flexible materials, was lightweight (only 185 g), while maintaining a high range of motion. Future directions for further improvements and user studies are described.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20202003
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Directions in Biomedical Engineering
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • assistive technologies
  • exoskeleton
  • hand
  • orthosis
  • rehabilitation
  • stroke

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