2023 186 E1

Developing an Intelligent System for Stroke Hand Therapy using an Open-Source ExoGlove

By: Jocelynn Nazarit

Department: Engineering

Faculty Advisors: Dr. David Quintero, Dr. George Anwar 

In the United States, millions of stroke survivors develop a form of paralysis, a complete or partial loss of muscle function. Hand paralysis has a negative impact on the quality of life, as it makes it harder to do everyday activities. That is why consistency in therapy is important for activating neuroplasticity, helping the brain to rewire itself. New developments in exoskeleton technology encourages muscle and neural rehabilitation for stroke patients. The exoskeleton glove was designed to be comfortable, lightweight, and cost-effective using 3D printing technology. This will give low-income individuals access to a better quality exoskeleton glove that is cost-effective and provides more at-home therapy training. Utilizing an open source CAD mechanical design, known as the Flexo-Glove, we can improve upon the design by creating a more intelligent system. This includes upgrading the motor power-to-weight ratio, adding finger flexible sensors for finger positioning, and force sensing resistors at the fingertips to provide force sensing feedback when grasping objects. The design enhancement of an open source exoskeleton glove will enhance the therapeutic capabilities for stroke therapy by providing novel control strategies for additional dexterity while still being cost effective.