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Many people in the modern world suffer from a loss of hand and finger strength due to diseases in the muscle or nervous system such as ALS, Muscular Atrophy, and more. This problem has become more widespread with the surge of technology over the last 5-10 years. Therefore, we have created a smart exoskeleton hand with soft electronics that will allow people with less than average hand strength to perform daily activities.
The exoskeleton device utilizes small, lightweight linear actuators to provide additional strength to the user’s fingers and the hand itself will be 3D-printed with ABS and PLA plastics to allow for a lower cost while maintaining the strength requirements. The smart exoskeleton also contains a feedback system that processes electromyogram (EMG) signals through a custom circuit in order to replicate the real time movement of the user. These signals are then saved as a data file and stored to allow physicians to analyze these signals and find trends of either reconstruction or deconstruction. This system is powered by two AA batteries and one 6V battery housed in a custom, 3D-printed battery pack. A small touch LCD screen has been installed to display the filtered signals from the EMG sensors attached to the users arm while also showing the current battery life of the device. All of these components incorporated into one system allow for a lightweight, portable design that provides the user with the ease of normal mobility.
Exoskeleton, electrode, electromyogram (EMG), 3D printing
Dr. Woon-Hong Yeo
Dr. Weijun Xiao
VCU Capstone Design Expo Posters
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