Synthesis of Hand Exoskeletons for the Rehabilitation of Post-Stroke Patients

Mozaffari Foumashi, Mohammad (2013) Synthesis of Hand Exoskeletons for the Rehabilitation of Post-Stroke Patients , [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Meccanica e scienze avanzate dell'ingegneria: progetto n. 3 "Meccanica applicata", 25 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/5906.
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This dissertation presents the synthesis of a hand exoskeleton (HE) for the rehabilitation of post-stroke patients. Through the analysis of state-of-the-art, a topological classification was proposed. Based on the proposed classification principles, the rehabilitation HEs were systematically analyzed and classified. This classification is helpful to both understand the reason of proposing certain solutions for specific applications and provide some useful guidelines for the design of a new HE, that was actually the primary motivation of this study. Further to this classification, a novel rehabilitation HE was designed to support patients in cylindrical shape grasping tasks with the aim of recovering the basic functions of manipulation. The proposed device comprises five planar mechanisms, one per finger, globally actuated by two electric motors. Indeed, the thumb flexion/extension movement is controlled by one actuator whereas a second actuator is devoted to the control of the flexion/extension of the other four fingers. By focusing on the single finger mechanism, intended as the basic model of the targeted HE, the feasibility study of three different 1 DOF mechanisms are analyzed: a 6-link mechanism, that is connected to the human finger only at its tip, an 8-link and a 12-link mechanisms where phalanges and articulations are part of the kinematic chain. The advantages and drawbacks of each mechanism are deeply analyzed with respect to targeted requirements: the 12-link mechanism was selected as the most suitable solution. The dimensional synthesis based on the Burmester theory as well as kinematic and static analyses were separately done for all fingers in order to satisfy the desired specifications. The HE was finally designed and a prototype was built. The experimental results of the first tests are promising and demonstrate the potential for clinical applications of the proposed device in robot-assisted training of the human hand for grasping functions.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Mozaffari Foumashi, Mohammad
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Ingegneria industriale
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Data di discussione
8 Maggio 2013

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