Finger joint fabrication with a traditional 3D printer proved challenging since the device lacked the resolution necessary to produce the complex structure of the finger phalanxes. Hence, Stroke Patients Get a new 3D Printed Hand. These parts not only serve to secure the leaf springs, but also have a filigree closure for a leather strap. The strap is threaded through a buckle that is little wider than a millimeter. Because of excessive friction between the joints and the leaf springs, ABS filament proved to be unsuitable as a printing medium.
To help stroke victims regain manual agility and coordination, a team of scientists in the United States has created a soft-robotic hand exoskeleton. Patients may use the glove’s touch sensors, soft actuators, and AI to retrain for tasks like playing the piano. So researchers have created a new 3D Printed Hand for stroke patients.
Millions of people every year are disabled because of a stroke. Music therapy has been demonstrated to aid in rehabilitating stroke victims, particularly in language and motor function. Stroke victims who also happen to be musicians have an additional obstacle while trying to re-learn their instrument. The robotic glove uses soft robotics to aid stroke sufferers in relearning dexterity and coordination tasks like playing music.
The 191-gram 3D printed hand is created to order to fit any hand perfectly. Flexible pneumatic actuators generate natural hand motions, and bendable sensors in the fingers generate tactile sensations. The glove may be set up to recognize the difference between proper and improper piano playing, allowing for individualized therapy. Soft pieces were cast using Dragon Skin silicone, and PVA molds were made using a 3D printer.
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Structure of the 3D Printed hand exoskeleton
The 3D Printed Hand was designed by Kyushu University professor Jumpei Arata of Japan; they comprise three stacked, thin stainless steel leaf springs joined by four plastic links. The center spring is connected to a Bowden cable that may either shut the fingers or open the hand. When the patient performs clutching motions, DC motors elongate and bend the leaf springs to provide support. According to Jan Dittli, a researcher at ETHZ’s Department of Health Science and Technology, “the exoskeleton can exert the force of six Newton per finger.” It is possible to lift things weighing up to around 500 grams (about a half-liter water bottle) with only the three grasping actions that have been developed.
The exoskeleton of the 3D Printed Hand is adjusted using a sensor wristband and secured with leather straps around the fingers. The patient’s electromyographic (EMG) impulses are sent to a microcomputer through a wristband as soon as hand movement is detected. The latter includes the motors, batteries, and control electronics, all of which are housed in a backpack that is linked to the hand module. The DC motors are activated when the computer determines that the user is about to perform a grabbing motion.
A difficulty throughout development was dealing with the finger joints’ inherent fragility. These parts serve as both a means of securing the leaf springs and locking the leather strap in place. The strap is inserted into a buckle hardly larger than a millimeter in diameter.
The palm of the hand was printed using a 3D printer using ABS filament, however, this process and material proved to be insufficient for creating functional finger joints. Dittli explains that using this material “would have resulted in far too high friction between the joints and the leaf springs.” As a result, too much power would have been dissipated in the motion of the fingers. A regular 3D printer was discovered lacking the resolution necessary to accurately reproduce the intricate finger phalanxes of the 3D printed hand.
Scientists foresee a future in which patients use these 3D Printed Hand to improve their hand function, motor abilities, and coordination. Tactile sensing accuracy, flexibility, and agility all need work, and machine learning algorithms might be refined to improve human-machine interaction.
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