AssistOn-Finger: A Self Aligning Exoskeleton for Finger Tendon Injuries

AssistOn-FingerAssistOn-Finger is a novel under-actuated active exoskeleton for robot-assisted tendon therapy of human fingers. The primary use for the exoskeleton is to assist flexion/extension motions of a finger within its full range, while keeping the tendon tension within acceptable limits to avoid gap formation or rupture of the suture. The device can also be employed to administer range of motion (RoM)/strengthening exercises. AssistOn-Finger is designed to be passively backdriveable, can cover the whole RoM of patients, and can do so in a natural and coordinated manner. In particular, the device employs human finger as an integral part of its kinematics and when coupled to a human operator, the parallel kinematic structure of exoskeleton supports three independent degrees of freedom, dictated by the kinematics of the human finger. Automatically aligning its joint axes to match finger joint axes, AssistOn-Finger can guarantee ergonomy and comfort throughout the therapy. The self-aligning feature also significantly shortens the setup time required to attach the patient to the exoskeleton.