We introduce a novel soft exoskeleton glove capable of generating human-like finger joint movements with little constraints on volitional motions. Four pneumatic artificial muscles (approx. 2.5 mm in diameter and less than 2 g weight) were attached to each finger, which consists of two antagonistic pairs of the muscles (i.e. flexor and extensor) and thereby enables to control several posture of each finger independently. To implement this structure into all five digits resulted in the hand exoskeleton with 20 DOFs for one hand. This architecture was designed so as to mimic the human anatomy of the forearm muscle, which eventually ensured supporting the natural, unconstrained hand motion. Furthermore, as functions of our system, we confirmed that it is possible to generate a pressing force of approx. 10 N and to manipulate a finger to perform high-speed tapping at approx. 10 Hz. These results suggest that the system can be used not only as a rehabilitation device but also as an instruction device for playing an instrument or sports, which requires dexterous motion control and quick performance.
- N. Takahashi, H. Takahashi, K. Suzumori, H. Koike, 指屈筋と指伸筋の構造を模倣したソフトロボットグローブ, 第36回日本ロボット学会学術講演会（RSJ2018）, 2018