A Novel Soft Exoskeleton Glove Inspired by the Forearm Muscle Structure

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. They form two antagonistic pairs of muscles (i.e. flexor and extensor) and thereby enable the control of several postures of each finger independently. Implementing this structure for all five digits resulted in a hand exoskeleton with 20 DOFs for one hand. This architecture was designed similar to the human anatomy of the forearm muscle, which eventually ensured supporting a natural, unconstrained hand motion. Our system is capable of generating a pressing force of approx. 8 N as a static force and can manipulate a finger to perform high-speed tapping at approx. 10 Hz. Finally, we implemented a semi-automatic fitting system that helps to attach the glove easily to the user’s body. Early investigations indicate that the basic technology of our system can contribute domains that need to provide physical force feedback and posture correction to the user’s fingers.

Related Publication (Selected)

  • N. Takahashi, H. Takahashi, H. Koike, “Soft Exoskeleton Glove Enabling Force Feedback for Human-Like Finger Posture Control with 20 Degrees of Freedom,” In Proceedings of IEEE World Haptics Conference (WHC 2019), pp. 217-222, 2019
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