New scope for interaction
between humans and machines
The ExoHand from Festo is an exoskeleton that can be worn like a glove.
The fingers can be actively moved and their strength amplified; the operator’s hand movements are registered and transmitted to the robotic hand in real time. The objectives are to enhance the strength and endurance of the human hand, to extend humans’ scope of action and to secure them an independent lifestyle even at an advanced age.
From assembly to medical therapy
The ExoHand could provide assistance in the form of force amplification in connection with monotonous and strenuous activities in industrial assembly, for example, or in remote manipulation in hazardous environments: with force feedback, the human operator feels what the robot grasps and can thus grip and manipulate objects from a safe distance without having to touch them.
Due to the yielding capacity of its pneumatic components, the ExoHand also offers potential in the field of service robotics. In the rehabilitation of stroke patients, it could already be used today as an active manual orthosis.
A strong hand with sensitive fingers
The exoskeleton supports the human hand from the outside and reproduces the physiological degrees of freedom – the scope of movement resulting from the geometry of the joints.
Eight double-acting pneumatic actuators move the fingers so that they can be opened and closed. For this purpose, non-linear control algorithms are implemented on a CoDeSys-compliant controller, which thus allows precise orientation of the individual finger joints. The forces, angles and positions of the fingers are tracked by sensors.