Posts Tagged robotic finger
[Abstract] A soft supernumerary robotic finger and mobile arm support for grasping compensation and hemiparetic upper limb rehabilitation
In this paper, we present the combination of our soft supernumerary robotic finger i.e. Soft-SixthFinger with a commercially available zero gravity arm support, the SaeboMAS. The overall proposed system can provide the needed assistance during paretic upper limb rehabilitation involving both grasping and arm mobility to solve task-oriented activities. The Soft-SixthFinger is a wearable robotic supernumerary finger designed to be used as an active assistive device by post stroke patients to compensate the paretic hand grasp. The device works jointly with the paretic hand/arm to grasp an object similarly to the two parts of a robotic gripper. The SaeboMAS is a commercially available mobile arm support to neutralize gravity effects on the paretic arm specifically designed to facilitate and challenge the weakened shoulder muscles during functional tasks. The proposed system has been designed to be used during the rehabilitation phase when the arm is potentially able to recover its functionality, but the hand is still not able to perform a grasp due to the lack of an efficient thumb opposition. The overall system also act as a motivation tool for the patients to perform task-oriented rehabilitation activities.
With the aid of proposed system, the patient can closely simulate the desired motion with the non-functional arm for rehabilitation purposes, while performing a grasp with the help of the Soft-SixthFinger. As a pilot study we tested the proposed system with a chronic stroke patient to evaluate how the mobile arm support in conjunction with a robotic supernumerary finger can help in performing the tasks requiring the manipulation of grasped object through the paretic arm. In particular, we performed the Frenchay Arm Test (FAT) and Box and Block Test (BBT). The proposed system successfully enabled the patient to complete tasks which were previously impossible to perform.
[ARTICLE] An EMG Interface for the Control of Motion and Compliance of a Supernumerary Robotic Finger – Full Text
In this paper, we present an electromyographic (EMG) control interface for a supernumerary robotic finger. This novel wearable robot can be used to compensate the missing grasping abilities in chronic stroke patients or to augment human healthy hand so to enhance its grasping capabilities and workspace. The proposed EMG interface controls the motion of the robotic extra finger and its joint compliance. In particular, we use a commercial EMG armband for gesture recognition to be associated with the motion control of the robotic device and surface one channel EMG electrodes interface to regulate the compliance of the robotic device. We also present an updated version of a robotic extra finger where the adduction/abduction motion is realized through ball bearing and spur gears mechanism. We validated the proposed interface with two sets of experiments related to compensation and augmentation. In the first set of experiments, different bi-manual tasks have been performed with the help of the robotic device and simulating a paretic hand. In the second set, the robotic extra finger is used to enlarge the workspace and manipulation capability of healthy hands. In both the sets, the same EMG control interface has been used. The obtained results demonstrate that the proposed control interface is intuitive and can successfully be used for both compensation and augmentation purposes. The proposed approach can be exploited also for the control of different wearable devices that has to actively cooperate with the human limbs.
[ARTICLE] Using the Robotic Sixth Finger and Vibrotactile Feedback for Grasp Compensation in Chronic Stroke Patients – Full Text PDF
This paper presents a wearable robotic extra finger used by chronic stroke patients to compensate for the missing hand functions of the paretic limb. The extra finger is worn on the paretic forearm by means of an elastic band, and it is coupled with a vibrotactile ring interface worn on the healthy hand. The robotic finger and the paretic hand act like the two parts of a gripper working together to hold an object. The human user is able to control the flexion/extension of the robotic finger through a switch placed on the ring, while being provided with vibrotactile feedback about the forces exerted by the robotic finger on the environment. To understand how to control the vibrotactile interface to evoke the most effective cutaneous sensations, we carried out perceptual experiments to evaluate its absolute and differential thresholds. Finally, we performed a qualitative experiment, the Franchay Arm Test, with a chronic post-stroke patient presenting a partial loss of sensitivity on the paretic limb. Results show that the proposed system significantly improves the performance of the considered test.
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