Mechanical design of dynamic hand orthoses

Expanding technology with comprehensive overviews and alternative pathways

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Abstract

Orthoses have evolved from simply maintaining bone fractures and correcting spinal deformities to full mechatronic systems that can read a person’s intention and translate that into a desired motion or force path. A vast variety in pathologies (e.g., stroke, muscular dystrophies), applications (e.g., daily assistance, research) and environments (e.g., home, clinic) are possible. The term dynamic hand orthosis is able to cover this full range of applications and is therefore used as an umbrella term. In order to map the research field of dynamic hand orthosis and improve on the state-of-the-art, this thesis proposes a design methodology that categorizes mechatronic components and collects rationale to make specific design choices through scoping & optimization. Finally, a proof-of-principle dynamic hand orthosis was made and tested on a single participant in a case study experiment.