Comparing with the traditional way for hand rehabilitation, such as simple trainers and artificial rigid auxiliary, this paper presents an isometric and isotonic soft hand for rehabilitation supported by the soft robots theory which aims to satisfy the more comprehensive rehabilitation requirements. Salient features of the device are the ability to achieve higher and controllable stiffness for both isometric and isotonic contraction. Then we analyze the active control for isometric and isotonic movement through electroencephalograph (EEG) signal. This paper focuses on three issues. The first is using silicon rubber to build a soft finger which can continuously stretch and bend to fit the basic action of the fingers. The second is changing stiffness of the finger through the coordination between variable stiffness cavity and actuating cavity. The last is to classify different EEG states based on isometric and isotonic contraction using common spatial pattern feature extraction (CSP) methods and support vector machine classification methods (SVM). On this basis, an EEG-based manipulator control system was set up.
In recent years, stroke has became one of the major health problems which significantly affect the daily life of the elderly, and hand rehabilitation is introduced as an auxiliary treatment. Though various kinds of mechanical devices for hand rehabilitation have been developed, some deficiencies still exist in the current rigid rehabilitation hand, such as the degrees of freedom is not enough, complexity, unsafe status, overweight, being uncomfortable, unfitness and so on. Therefore, with the growth of aging population, it is highly needed to develop some new devices to satisfy the comprehensive rehabilitation requirements. Meanwhile, inspired by the mollusks in nature, soft robot is made of soft materials that can withstand large strains. It is a new type of continuum robot with high flexibility and environmental adaptability. The soft robot has a broad application prospects in military detection techniques, such as instance search, rescue, medical application and other fields.
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