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A soft robotic supernumerary finger and a wearable cutaneous finger interface to compensate the missing grasping capabilities in chronic stroke patients

Abstract : Stroke survivors who experience severe hemipare-sis often cannot completely recover the use of their hand and arm. Many of the rehabilitation devices currently available are designed to increase the functional recovery right after the stroke when, in some cases, biological restoring and plastic reorganization of the central nervous system can take place. However, this is not always the case. Even after extensive therapeutic interventions, the probability of regaining functional use of the impaired hand is low. In this respect, we present a novel robotic system composed of a supernumerary robotic finger and a wearable cutaneous finger interface. The supernumerary finger is used to help grasping objects while the wearable interface provides information about the forces exerted by the robotic finger on the object being held. We carried out two experiments, enrolling 16 healthy subjects and 2 chronic stroke patients. Results showed that using the supernumerary finger greatly improved the grasping capabilities of the subjects. Moreover, providing cutaneous feedback significantly improved the performance of the considered task and was preferred by all subjects.
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https://hal.inria.fr/hal-01935293
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Irfan Hussain, Leonardo Meli, Claudio Pacchierotti, Domenico Prattichizzo. A soft robotic supernumerary finger and a wearable cutaneous finger interface to compensate the missing grasping capabilities in chronic stroke patients. IEEE World Haptics Conference (WHC), Jun 2017, Munich, Germany. ⟨10.1109/WHC.2017.7989898⟩. ⟨hal-01935293⟩

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