We are a group of students of the ULB, Universit Libre de Bruxelles. Our project consists on the developing of a robot glove able to create a grip force helping people grabbing things.
The glove has a wire connection that links the fingers to some servo motors: a wire is attached to the extremity of the finger and to the servo, so when the servo turns, the wire is pulled and the finger is flexed. In this way, by controlling the grip done by the user through some pressure sensors in the extremity of the fingers, we are able to actuate the motors in a controlled way and help the gripping by bending the finger proportionally to the rotation of the motors and so to the rolling up of the wires. In this way we should be able either to allow weak people to grip objects or help even people in physiological conditions to grip objects and to keep it without any effort.
The model has been developed in order to make the hand movement as free as possible. In fact, we 3D printed only the strictly necessary parts that we needed to connect wires, motors and fingers.
We have a top cupola printed in PLA on each finger: this is the terminal part where the wires have to be connected and it must grant protection to the pressure sensor that is fixed inside. The pressure sensor is glued, with hot glue, between the PLA extremity and the glove.
Then we have two 3D printed rings, per finger, that constitute a guide for the wires. The thumb is the only finger that has only one printed rings. There is one wire per finger, folded in half at the extremity of the fingers. The two halves are passing through the two guides of the cupola part and in both rings: they are put straight into holes that we made in the outside of these rings. Then they are put together into a wheel directly connected to the motor. The wheel has been realized in order to be able to wrap around the wires: since our motor has a non complete rotation (lower than 180) we realized the wheel in order to pull the wire for a gap of 6 centimetres that is the distance needed to completely close the hand.
We have also printed two plates to fix the servo motors and the arduino to the arm. It should be better to cut it in wood or a rigid plastic with a laser cutter.”