Soft robotic glove for combined assistance and at-home rehabilitation

Panagiotis Polygerinos, Zheng Wang, Kevin C. Galloway, Robert J. Wood, Conor J. Walsh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1072 Scopus citations


    This paper presents a portable, assistive, soft robotic glove designed to augment hand rehabilitation for individuals with functional grasp pathologies. The robotic glove utilizes soft actuators consisting of molded elastomeric chambers with fiber reinforcements that induce specific bending, twisting and extending trajectories under fluid pressurization. These soft actuators were mechanically programmed to match and support the range of motion of individual fingers. They demonstrated the ability to generate significant force when pressurized and exhibited low impedance when un-actuated. To operate the soft robotic glove, a control hardware system was designed and included fluidic pressure sensors in line with the hydraulic actuators and a closed-loop controller to regulate the pressure. Demonstrations with the complete system were performed to evaluate the ability of the soft robotic glove to carry out gross and precise functional grasping. Compared to existing devices, the soft robotic glove has the potential to increase user freedom and independence through its portable waist belt pack and open palm design.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)135-143
    Number of pages9
    JournalRobotics and Autonomous Systems
    StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


    • Assistive
    • Portable
    • Rehabilitation
    • Soft actuators
    • Soft glove

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Software
    • Mathematics(all)
    • Control and Systems Engineering
    • Computer Science Applications


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