AirExGlove – A Novel Pneumatic Exoskeleton Glove for Adaptive Hand Rehabilitation in Post-Stroke Patients
MetadataShow full item record
Stroke is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide: post-stroke disabilities affect the upper and lower limbs, significantly undermining a subject’s autonomy in the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Among post-stroke disabilities, one of the most impairing and widespread conditions is the clenched fist deformity: the subject experiences a permanent contraction of the hand, resulting in a closed hand rest pose. In this paper, the authors propose a novel light-weight inflatable soft exoskeleton device, called the AirExGlove, to deliver high-dosage, adaptive and gradual rehabilitation therapy to patients affected by clenched fist deformity. Our system is lightweight, low-cost, adaptable to any hand size and unobtrusive. The system has been extensively tested to assess the hand-opening range in which it can operate according to the severity of the patient condition, which is typically ranked on the Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS) scale. Experimental analysis demonstrates the suitability of the glove for patients affected by post-stroke muscle spasticity scoring up to 3 out of 4 in the MAS scale. Preliminary testing with clenched-fist patient confirmed a higher level of ergonomics of the system in comparison with rigid-linked robotic systems.