Frontiers in Robotics and AI (Jun 2021)

Integration of a Passive Exoskeleton and a Robotic Supernumerary Finger for Grasping Compensation in Chronic Stroke Patients: The SoftPro Wearable System

  • Gionata Salvietti,
  • Leonardo Franco,
  • Martin Tschiersky,
  • Gerjan Wolterink,
  • Matteo Bianchi,
  • Antonio Bicchi,
  • Federica Barontini,
  • Manuel Catalano,
  • Giorgio Grioli,
  • Mattia Poggiani,
  • Simone Rossi,
  • Domenico Prattichizzo

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 8


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Upper-limb impairments are all-pervasive in Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). As a consequence, people affected by a loss of arm function must endure severe limitations. To compensate for the lack of a functional arm and hand, we developed a wearable system that combines different assistive technologies including sensing, haptics, orthotics and robotics. The result is a device that helps lifting the forearm by means of a passive exoskeleton and improves the grasping ability of the impaired hand by employing a wearable robotic supernumerary finger. A pilot study involving 3 patients, which was conducted to test the capability of the device to assist in performing ADLs, confirmed its usefulness and serves as a first step in the investigation of novel paradigms for robotic assistance.