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For stroke survivors, or those with debilitating conditions, loss of autonomy and independence is a major issue. To help with this problem, a device is being designed that aids the movements of the wrist and hand. The device will measure the surface EMG readings from the forearm, and accurately interpret these readings to determine the intention of the device wearer. An exoskeleton, extending from before the wrist to the finger tips, will subsequently move in a manner that assists the wearer during the action - for example turning on or off a water tap. It is envisaged that the device will be capable of assisting in rehabilitative exercises with the ultimate goal being to make the wearer independent of the device, rendering it redundant. There are several aspects to this currently under investigation. Results are presented here outlining initial investigations into the design of the exoskeleton, the system to drive the exoskeleton, and the system to measure the surface EMG readings.
Date of Conference: 26-27 Sept. 2009