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Master_Thesis_AlfredoOcegueda.pdf (1.81 MB)

DEVELOPMENT OF A SOFT HAND EXOSKELETON FOR HAND REHABILITATION

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thesis
posted on 2022-12-09, 19:54 authored by Jose Alfredo Ocegueda BarrazaJose Alfredo Ocegueda Barraza

  

To regain a healthy degree of hand function, injured patients require strenuous rehabilitation therapies with the expectation of gaining the full range of motion and strength necessary for performing activities of daily living (ADLs). Metacarpal fractures are one of the most common musculoskeletal injuries and require occupational therapy after the immobilization phase. Obstacles, such as longer recovery times, high costs, or lack of trained physiotherapists, often present a barrier for individuals seeking adequate treatment. Repetitive extension and flexion therapy routines improve grasping functionalities when performed correctly and repetitively. Robotic devices, such as hand exoskeletons, have been found to make up for the lack of hand motor function and assist in grasping tasks performed in ADLs, improving users’ independence. To increase robot acceptability, wearable robots have been recently proposed as part of rehabilitation technologies. Hand rehabilitation systems are an active research interest; however, most studies focus on rehabilitating central nerve injuries. There is a lack of research on systems treating hand fracture injuries, explicitly focusing on function recovery involving the fingers. Integrating systems that provide the necessary dexterity in a user-friendly manner while keeping a compact and lightweight fashion remains challenging. This thesis describes the development of a Soft Hand Exoskeleton (SHE) for robotic hand rehabilitation. The system integrates a flexible glove-like body and a bio-inspired cable-driven transmission system for motion assistance. The exoskeleton’s usage effects were evaluated through a user study experiment. An electromyography (EMG) based analysis allowed us to assess the muscular effort demands of ADLs. Experimental results and evaluation metrics demonstrated a reduction in the total integrated muscular activity (TIMA) in the performance of common ADLs when wearing the SHE system. 

History

Degree Type

  • Master of Science

Department

  • Industrial Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Juan P. Wachs

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee co-chair

Bradley S. Duerstock

Additional Committee Member 2

Ramses V. Martinez

Additional Committee Member 3

Emily Morgan

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