Soft Hand Exoskeleton for Adaptive Grasping Using a Compact Differential Mechanism

Ajay Bajaj, Vishal Jain, Prabhat Kumar, Aynur Unal, Anupam Saxena*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The work proposes an underactuated design of a glove-like soft hand exoskeleton for grasping and lifting objects of varied shapes and sizes. Strings are used to flex all finger joints, assuming that finger anatomy of an impaired hand is intact. A pulley-based differential mechanism is designed to actuate all four fingers via a single motor to allow adaptive grasping. Two DC motors are used, one for flexion of all four fingers and the second for thumb flexion. Finger extension is passively achieved via elastic bands on the dorsal side. A prototype of the hand exoskeleton, weighing 300 g without battery is fabricated that occupies mm space over the palmer side of the forearm. Novelty in the design lies in reducing the required length of the existing pulley-based differential mechanism from 20 cm to 10 cm. Lightweight, and compactness make the device portable. Performance of the soft exoskeleton is demonstrated via testing it on a healthy subject.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMechanism and Machine Science
Subtitle of host publicationSelect Proceedings of Asian MMS 2018
EditorsDibakar Sen, Gondi Kondaiah Ananthasuresh, Santhakumar Mohan
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-15-4477-4
ISBN (Print)978-981-15-4476-7
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event5th Asian Mechanism and Machine Science Conference, MMS 2018 - Bengaluru, India
Duration: 17 Dec 201920 Dec 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering
ISSN (Print)2195-4356
ISSN (Electronic)2195-4364


Conference5th Asian Mechanism and Machine Science Conference, MMS 2018


  • Artificial tendon pulley system
  • Differential mechanism size reduction
  • Finger flexion-extension
  • Soft hand exoskeleton


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