Towards Naturalistic Exoskeleton Glove Control for Rehabilitation and Assistance

dc.contributor.authorChauhan, Raghuraj Jitendraen
dc.contributor.committeechairBarry, Oumaren
dc.contributor.committeememberSouthward, Steve C.en
dc.contributor.committeememberSandu, Corinaen
dc.contributor.departmentMechanical Engineeringen
dc.description.abstractThis thesis presents both a control scheme for naturalistic control of an exoskeleton glove and a glove design. Exoskeleton development has been focused primarily on design, improving soft actuator and cable-driven systems, with only limited focus on intelligent control. There is a need for control that is not limited to position or force reference signals and is user-driven. By implementing a motion amplification controller to increase weak movements of an impaired individual, a finger joint trajectory can be observed and used to predict their grasping intention. The motion amplification functions off of a virtual dynamical system that safely enforces the range of motion of the finger joints and ensures stability. Three grasp prediction algorithms are developed with improved levels of accuracy: regression, trajectory, and deep learning based. These algorithms were tested on published finger joint trajectories. The fusion of the amplification and prediction could be used to achieve naturalistic, user-guided control of an exoskeleton glove. The key to accomplishing this is series elastic actuators to move the finger joints, thereby allowing the wearer to deflect against the glove and inform the controller of their intention. These actuators are used to move the fingers in a nine degree of freedom exoskeleton that is capable of achieving all the grasps used most frequently in daily life. The controllers and exoskeleton presented here are the basis for improved exoskeleton glove control that can be used to assist or rehabilitate impaired individuals.en
dc.description.abstractgeneralMillions of Americans report difficulty holding small or even lightweight objects. In many of these cases, their difficulty stems from a condition such as a stroke or arthritis, requiring either rehabilitation or assistance. For both treatments, exoskeleton gloves are a potential solution; however, widespread deployment of exoskeletons in the treatment of hand conditions requires significant advancement. Towards that end, the research community has devoted itself to improving the design of exoskeletons. Systems that use soft actuation or are driven by artificial tendons have merit in that they are comfortable to the wearer, but lack the rigidity required for monitoring the state of the hand and controlling it. Electromyography sensors are also a commonly explored technology for determining motion intention; however, only primitive conclusions can be drawn when using these sensors on the muscles that control the human hand. This thesis proposes a system that does not rely on soft actuation but rather a deflectable exoskeleton that can be used in rehabilitation or assistance. By using series elastic actuators to move the exoskeleton, the wearer of the glove can exert their influence over the machine. Additionally, more intelligent control is needed in the exoskeleton. The approach taken here is twofold. First, a motion amplification controller increases the finger movements of the wearer. Second, the amplified motion is processed using machine learning algorithms to predict what type of grasp the user is attempting. The controller would then be able to fuse the two, the amplification and prediction, to control the glove naturalistically.en
dc.description.degreeMaster of Scienceen
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.subjectMedical Roboticsen
dc.subjectMachine learningen
dc.subjectDeep learning (Machine learning)en
dc.titleTowards Naturalistic Exoskeleton Glove Control for Rehabilitation and Assistanceen
dc.typeThesisen Engineeringen Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen of Scienceen


Original bundle
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
Thumbnail Image
62.75 MB
Adobe Portable Document Format