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A Soft Exoskeleton Glove Incorporating Motor-Tendon Actuator for Hand Movements Assistance

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Hand paralysis can inhibit daily activities, for example, grasping a particular food or an object. With the advancement of science and technology today especially in wearable robot technology, normal hand function can be recovered with the help of wearable soft robotic glove. This robot has a mechanism that resembles the working mechanism of the hand itself. The purpose of this study is to develop a low-cost soft exoskeleton glove made from silicone rubber using a tendon-based mechanism. The molding of the soft glove is designed using SolidWorks CAD software. Dual-slack enabling actuators are designed and manufactured as the actuator system of the soft exoskeleton glove. The proposed actuator is used as flexion and extension motion for the human hand. This motion enables the soft exoskeleton glove to provide mechanical support for the human hand. A potentiometer sensor is used in the dual-slack enabling actuator for measuring the rotating angle of the actuator that is connected to the tendon and soft exoskeleton glove. The actuator is controlled using on-off and Proportional-Integral (PI) control. After the soft exoskeleton glove system is integrated, the soft robot is implemented on a healthy human hand to assist the grasping of various objects. The measurement for the wearable robot is performed by using serial communication between Arduino Nano microcontroller and the host computer. Based on the experimental results, the soft glove can successfully assist and support the user’s hand for various object grasping.
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Dual-Slack Enabling Actuator; Soft Exoskeleton; Wearable Robot; PI Control

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