By Juan Lenger
A soft robotics glove project
A glove that can help people with motor deficiencies in the hand, such as those who have suffered strokes, Parkinson's disease, or other conditions that make movement in their hands difficult.
My idea for a project is to design and build a glove that can help people with motor deficiencies in the hand. I think it could be very beneficial to people who have suffered strokes, Parkinson's disease, or have other disabilities that make movement in their hands difficult.
The glove would inflate with air pressure on the back of the fingers from an air pump on the topside of the wrist, but also would have a function where strings attached to the finger tips would go down the glove held by little sleeves,and would wrap around a motor/wheel on the bottom on the underside of the wrist, that can twist and pull the strings, which would help to bend the fingers for people who have trouble with motions such as that.
Person having trouble moving their hand
Here are some precedents for my glove project. My design was based off of these images that I found while researching about soft robotics gloves. Harvard's bio design lab's website had an example of a glove that could help with motor ability in the hand (top right) and it intrigued me very much, which in a way kick started this project. The features of the glove were inspired by both images, with the string suspension mechanism and the inflatable mechanism on the back of the fingers, and that influenced how I wanted to design my glove. The concept for the project was heavily inspired by the Wyss institute's glove prototype, that used air pressure and soft robotic materials to temporarily transfer mobility back into the hand of someone who does not have much.
The finger bending mechanism gets inflated with air and bends forward
The updated finger bending mechanism is inflated with air and bends forward even further
Different iterations of the finger bending mechanism as it got upgraded over time.
I used the silicone molding material called Dragon Skin 10 to attempt to 1. make a glove with the silicone material, (left) and then 2. to use it as a passage way to combine air tubes from one air source to separate into different tubes for the five finger bending mechanism on the back of each finger (right, and on the next slide)
Silicone Experiments continued
Here is what the mechanism of silicone air passage way split off would have looked like.
Motorized string puller
A mechanism I also worked on was using a motor to pull the strings in the front sot that the fingers bend
Thank you for reading/watching!