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Title: Development and Evaluation of a Passive Multiloop Wearable Hand Device for Natural Motion
Abstract This article describes the development and evaluation of our passively actuated closed-loop articulated wearable (CLAW) that uses a common slider to passively drive its exo-fingers for use in physical training of people with limited hand mobility. Our design approach utilizes physiological tasks for dimensional synthesis and yields a variety of design candidates that fulfill the desired fingertip precision grasping trajectory. Once it is ensured that the synthesized fingertip motion is close to the physiological fingertip grasping trajectories, performance assessment criteria related to user–device interference and natural joint angle movement are taken into account. After the most preferred design for each finger is chosen, minor modifications are made related to substituting the backbone chain with the wearer’s limb to provide the skeletal structure for the customized passive device. Subsequently, we evaluate it for natural joint motion based on a novel design candidate assessment method. A hand prototype is printed, and its preliminary performance regarding natural joint motion, wearability, and scalability are assessed. The pilot experimental test on a range of healthy subjects with different hand/finger sizes shows that the CLAW hand is easy to operate and guides the user’s fingers without causing any discomfort. It also ensures both precision and power grasping in a natural manner. This study establishes the importance of incorporating novel design candidate assessment techniques, based on human finger kinematic models, on a conceptual design level that can assist in finding design candidates for natural joint motion coordination.  more » « less
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Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics
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National Science Foundation
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