Design Requirements of a Hand Exoskeleton Robotic Device

J. Iqbal, N.G. Tsagarakis, A.E. Fiorilla, and D.G. Caldwell (Italy)


Hand exoskeleton, Haptics and advanced interfaces,Robotic device, Human hand


This paper discusses the design optimization and requirements criteria imposed by human hand/finger capabilities on the design of an exoskeleton device for the hand. Hand posture and forces that determine the way an object is grasped are directly related to the design of an exoskeleton device. To define the design requirements of such a device, an analysis of the hand daily life activities has been carried out. Range of motion, maximum and normal force levels exerted by human hands of different sizes and various age groups have been measured using sensorized instrumentation including data gloves and load cell. Subjective as well as numerical data collected from experiments on human hand are presented that map directly to mechanical design of the system. An underactuated optimum mechanism has been proposed and kinematically simulated. The optimization of the exoskeleton device (link lengths, actuation) was achieved through a multi objective optimization procedure considering both the Global Isotropy Index (GII) and the Perpendicular Impact Force (PIF) factor of the device as well as the worst case collision avoidance. Based on these optimization results, the first prototype was designed and fabricated.

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