Design and development of a robotic glove for hand rehabilitation

  • Stuart Biggar

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


In the western world there is an issue in healthcare being created by an increasing number of people who experience disability. Whilst the reasons for these occurring are multiple, the common treatment to aid recovery from this condition is therapy that requires manual stimulation of the musculature form [sic] a therapist. Due to the physical demands that this process places on the therapist it is thought that a possible solution to meeting the increasing future demand for therapy is with developments in robotic technology. This thesis proposes and develops the design of a cable-driven glove to assist patients to grasp, this direction of design was chosen after a consultation with former patients found that this was the activity of upper limb motion that they felt was the most difficult to control after therapy. Their design requirements resulted in the creation of a lightweight glove that maximised the performance of the cable driven system through the use of a vacuum to secure the cable and use the joints of their body to control the flexion. This design resulted in the development of a first generation prototype that was assessed firstly by operating a 3D printed hand to grasp a collection of balls and cubes. After this the prototype was tested by unimpaired volunteers to provide feedback on the comfort and control they have when using the device, which was then compared to the findings from the initial consultation. This showed that the glove was successful in performing the intended motion and was considered comfortable (3.5/5) as well as providing them control (3.83/5). The device was used in a consultation with medical workers as well, who were impressed with the strength of the device, but highlighted improvements that could be made to refine it further.
Date of Award12 Dec 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde

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