Open-Source Passive Instrumented Mannequins for Wearable Robots


Although soft robotic assistive gloves have high potential for restoring functional independence for individuals with motor impairment, their lack of rigid components makes it difficult to obtain accurate position sensing to validate their performance. To track soft device motion, standard practices rely on costly optical motion capture techniques, which have reduced accuracy due to limitations in marker occlusion and device deformation.

Thus, the low-cost, open-source Instrumented Hand shown is proposed as a standard solution for designers of wearable hand devices to compare range of motion and torque control between various devices and actuation methods. The Instrumented Hand can be used to validate soft wearable devices and evaluate range of motion (ROM) and torque capabilities through the use of magnetoresistive sensors. With instrumented joints and reasonably accurate thumb joint motion, the Instrumented Hand has the potential to replace expensive motion capture and provide known interaction forces for wearable devices, moving a step towards a standard, open-sourced mannequin with reasonably accurate thumb motion that can easily enable comparisons across projects and inspire better device design.

The materials for the UT hand are hosted here, "" along with the BOM, Solidworks CAD, and a brief 'readme.doc' on future design directions and assembly instructions for the new glove-compatible version in "".