3D-Printed, Cable-Driven Force-Control Hand Exoskeleton

Robotic devices are excellent candidates for delivering repetitive and intensive rehabilitative motion that can restore functional capabilities of impaired upper limbs. Rehabilitation of the wrist and hand in particular are critical for the recovery of function, since the hands serve as the primary interface with the environment. However, current robotic devices that focus on hand rehabilitation are limited due to excessive cost, complexity, or limited functionality. Researchers from the ReNeu Robotics Lab at the University of Texas at Austin have developed a 3D-printed, cable-driven force-control hand exoskeleton. Developed for rehabilitation and teleoperation, it consists of thumb, index, and middle finger exoskeletons. A four-bar mechanism avoids join misalignment, and series elastic actuators provide torque control. Sixteen embedded sensors provide torque and angle sensing.