(19)
(11)EP 2 954 988 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
06.05.2020 Bulletin 2020/19

(21)Application number: 14761013.3

(22)Date of filing:  07.03.2014
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B25J 11/00  (2006.01)
A61H 1/02  (2006.01)
A61F 2/78  (2006.01)
A61F 2/56  (2006.01)
B25J 15/08  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2014/056032
(87)International publication number:
WO 2014/136958 (12.09.2014 Gazette  2014/37)

(54)

HAND EXOSKELETON DEVICE

HANDEXOSKELETT

DISPOSITIF D'EXOSQUELETTE DE MAIN


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 08.03.2013 JP 2013046449

(43)Date of publication of application:
16.12.2015 Bulletin 2015/51

(73)Proprietor: Kyushu University, National University Corporation
Nishi-ku Fukuoka-shi Fukuoka 819-0395 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • ARATA Jumpei
    Fukuoka-shi Fukuoka 819-0395 (JP)
  • GASSERT Roger
    Zurich 8092 (CH)

(74)Representative: Brevalex 
95, rue d'Amsterdam
75378 Paris Cedex 8
75378 Paris Cedex 8 (FR)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 2 417 941
JP-U- S62 188 381
JP-A- 2005 059 110
  
  • Jumpei Arata: "A hand exoskeleton robot for rehabilitation using a three-layered sliding spring mechanism", Youtube, 1 August 2012 (2012-08-01), page 1, XP054979101, Retrieved from the Internet: URL:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eauUq 2tl6I [retrieved on 2019-02-04]
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description

Technical Field



[0001] The present invention relates to a hand exoskeleton device. For example, the present invention relates to a hand exoskeleton device using a three-layered sliding spring mechanism which is mounted on a human body for supporting finger motions. Also, for example, the present invention relates to a hand exoskeleton device using a three-layered sliding spring mechanism for supporting finger flexion and extension movements.

Background Art



[0002] Medical rehabilitation on physical function is performed in a hospital or the like in order to recover physical function lowered by disease or injury. Recently, for a more effective function recovery method, quantitative evaluation of function recovery, reduction of burden of rehabilitation workers or the like, there have been made attempts to apply robot technology to rehabilitation. Especially, attempts to mount a robot or the like for supporting lowered physical function and daily living activity have been made actively.

[0003] As a conventional hand exoskeleton device using a link mechanism, there are known Non-Patent Literature 1, Non-Patent Literature 2 and the like. As a device using a wire mechanism, there are known Non-Patent Literature 3, Non-Patent Literature 4 and the like. As a device using fluid drive, there are known Non-Patent Literature 5, Non-Patent Literature 6 and the like. Also, Non-Patent Literature 7 and Non-Patent Literature 8 each provide a mechanism using a three-layered connecting sliding spring. EP 2 417 941 relates to a known wearable type movement assisting apparatus.

Citation List


Non-Patent Literature



[0004] 

Non-patent Literature 1: B. L. Shields, J. A. Main, S. W. Peterson, A. M. Strauss, "An Anthropomorphic Hand Exoskeleton to Prevent Astronaut Hand Fatigue During Extravehicular Activities," IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Part A: Systems and Humans, 27(5), 1997.

Non-patent Literature 2: S. Ito, H. Kawasaki, Y. Ishigure, M. Natsume, T. Mouri, Y. Nishimoto, "A design of fine motion assist equipment for disabled hand in robotic rehabilitation system," Journal of the Franklin Institute, 2009.

Non-patent Literature 3: T.T. Worsnopp, M.A. Peshkin, J.E. Colgate, and D.G. Kamper, "An Actuated Finger Exoskeleton for Hand Rehabilitation Following Stroke," IEEE10th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, pp.896-901, 2007.

Non-patent Literature 4: Y. Hasegawa, Y. Mikami, K. Watanabe, Y. Sankai, "Five-Figngered Assisitive Hand with Mechanical Compliance of Human Finger," 2008 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 718-724, 2008.

Non-patent Literature 5: L. Connelly, Y. Jia, M. L. Toro, M. E. Stoykov, R. V. Kenyon, D. G. Kamper, "A Pneumatic Glove and Immersive Virtual Reality Environment for Hand Rehabilitative Training After Stroke," IEEE Transactions on Neutral Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 18(5), pp. 551-559, 2010.

Non-patent Literature 6: Koutaro Tadano, Masao Akai, Kazuo Kadota, Kenji Kawashima, "Development of Exoskeleton Type Grip Amplification Glove using Pneumatic Artificial Muscle", Lecture on Robotics and Mechatronics, 1P1-E15, 2009.

Non-patent Literature 7: Junpei Arata, Keiichi Ohmoto, Roger Gassert, Oliver Lambercy, Hideo Fujimoto, Ikuo Wada, "Development of Hand Exoskeleton device prototype using three-layered Connecting Sliding spring Mechanism," Instrument Automatic Control Society, System Integration Department, Lecture Proceedings, pp. 2458-2459, 2012.

Non-patent Literature 8: Junpei Arata, "A hand exoskeleton robot for rehabiliting using a three layered sliding mechnism," Youtube, 1 August 2012, page 1, XP054979101, Retrieved from the Internet: URL:https:Hyoutube.com/watch?v=2eauUq2tl6l.


Summary of Invention


Technical Problem



[0005] Requirements of a device for supporting finger daily activity motions include, for example: it is small in size and light in weight; it is mountable on a human body and is capable of natural motion; it can generate sufficient power for supporting the motions; and, it can be driven safely.

[0006] A drive mechanism constituting such device, conventionally, includes a link drive mechanism, a wire drive mechanism and a fluid drive mechanism.

[0007] The link drive mechanism is used to transmit finger motions to the tip end thereof through a link to thereby drive the respective finger joints. The link drive mechanism can easily achieve a relatively large output but the device is likely increased in size. Also, the link drive part has often mechanical play.

[0008] The wire drive mechanism is used to drive joints using a wire. Since a transmission route is reduced in size and in diameter using the wire, the whole mechanism can be made small-sized. Meanwhile, since the wire is capable of power transmission only in the tensile force direction, the power part mechanism tends to be complicated. Also, the wire extends and shrinks.

[0009] The fluid drive mechanism provides a technique to fill fluid into the mechanism and generate drive power using variations in the pressure thereof. With this mechanism, a device to wear on a human body can be worn compact, meanwhile it needs an actuator for compressing the fluid.

[0010] A conventionally developed mechanism using a three-layered connecting sliding spring, when compared with the link drive mechanism, wire drive mechanism and fluid drive mechanism, is advantageous in that it is small in size and light in weight. However, since it includes multiple movable parts therein, it is complicated in structure.

[0011] The present invention is made in view of the above circumstances and an object of the present invention is to provide a hand exoskeleton device having a new structure for supporting human finger motions.

Solution to Problem



[0012] In order to achieve the above-mentioned object, an aspect of the present invention provides a hand exoskeleton device being a three-layered sliding spring mechanism drivable by a drive mechanism and mountable on a finger, the hand exoskeleton device including: a zeroth outer mounting part, a first outer mounting part, a second outer mounting part and a third outer mounting part arranged in series along a longitudinal direction of the finger from a tip end of the hand exoskeleton device, wherein the zeroth outer mounting part and the first outer mounting part, the first outer mounting part and the second outer mounting part, and the second outer mounting part and the third outer mounting part are respectively connected to each other by multiple sets of upper springs and lower springs arranged in parallel in a vertical direction, the upper springs are for fixing upper portions of the respective outer mounting parts, each upper spring comprising fixed ends for engaging sliding mechanisms provided in the first, second and third outer mounting parts and an exposed portion between two outer mounting parts, the exposed portions are variable in length so that fixed ends of the upper springs are freely movable relative to sliding mechanisms by a specific distance in the finger longitudinal direction, the lower springs for fixing lower portions of the respective outer mounting parts are fixed at both ends to the respective outer mounting parts, the respective outer mounting parts include therein a drive spring capable of freely sliding only in the finger longitudinal direction, a tip end of the drive spring is fixed to the zeroth outer mounting part and the other end of the drive spring is fixed to a drive shaft, the drive spring is configured to bend and extend longitudinally between a first end of one outer mounting part of the zeroth outer mounting part, the first outer mounting part, the second outer mounting part and the third outer mounting part and a second end, opposite to the first end, of another outer mounting part closest to the one outer mounting part,
and the upper and lower springs connecting together the outer mounting parts and the drive spring constitute three layers in the vertical direction, wherein where the hand exoskeleton device is mounted onto a finger of a human body, the zeroth outer mounting part is fixed to a portion ranging from a distal interphalangeal joint to a terminal end of the finger, the first outer mounting part is fixed to a portion intervening between the distal interphalangeal joint and a proximal interphalangeal joint of the finger, the second outer mounting part is fixed to a portion intervening between the proximal interphalangeal joint and metacarpophalangeal joint of the finger, and the third outer mounting part is fixed to a palm part of the human body, and while the hand exoskeleton device is mounted on the human body, the drive shaft is driven on the finger of the human body in the longitudinal direction of the finger of the human body, thereby applying torque to the distal interphalangeal joint, the proximal interphalangeal joint and the metacarpophalangeal joint of the finger to support flexion and extension movements of the finger of the human body.

[0013] Preferred features of the invention are described in the depending claims. According to an aspect of the present invention, in the three-layered sliding spring mechanism, lengths of the upper and lower springs respectively connecting together the zeroth outer mounting part, the first outer mounting part, the second outer mounting part and the third outer mounting part and a length of the drive spring serve as indexes for changing a timing for flexing the respective joints, and motions are adjustable by changing the spring length.

[0014] The aspect of the present invention provides a hand exoskeleton device to be mounted on the human body for supporting the finger motions, in which, using the three-layer sliding spring mechanism, torque is supplied by the single drive mechanism simultaneously to the distal interphalangeal joint (DIP joint), proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP joint) and intermediate interphalangeal joint (MP joint) of a finger, and the device main body operates to follow the natural motions of the human body.

[0015] The device is disposed on the nail side constituting the upper part of the human finger so as to follow the finger. Thus, a direction going from the device to the finger side is called a lower direction, whereas the opposite direction is called an upper direction.

[0016] The three-layered sliding spring mechanism according to the aspect of the present invention includes a zeroth outer mounting part, a first outer mounting part, a second outer mounting part and a third outer mounting part arranged in series from the tip end thereof along the finger longitudinal direction.

[0017] The zeroth and first outer mounting parts, the first and second outer mounting parts, and the second and third outer mounting parts are respectively connected together in the vertical direction by their respective spring elements. The lower springs for fixing the lower portions of the outer mounting parts are fixed at both ends to the respective outer mounting parts.

[0018] Since the upper springs for fixing the upper portions of the outer mounting parts are capable of moving their fixed ends freely by the slider mechanisms in the finger longitudinal direction, their lengths are variable.

[0019] The lower springs for fixing the lower portions of the outer mounting parts are fixed to the both ends of the respective lower portions.

[0020] The outer mounting parts respectively incorporate therein a drive spring capable of freely sliding only in the finger longitudinal direction, while the tip ends of the drive spring are fixed to the zeroth outer mounting part and the other ends thereof are fixed to the drive shaft.

[0021] Thus, the upper springs for connecting together the outer mounting parts, lower springs for connecting together the outer mounting parts and drive spring constitute three layers in the vertical direction.

[0022] The respective outer mounting parts are fixed to the respective portions of a finger serving as a mounting target using a flexible belt or the like. In this case, the zeroth outer mounting part is fixed to the portion ranging from the DIP joint to the terminal end, the first outer mounting part is fixed to the portion intervening between the DIP joint and PIP joint, and the second outer mounting part is fixed to the portion intervening between the PIP joint and MP joint, and the third outer mounting part is fixed to the palm portion, respectively.

[0023] The zeroth, first, second, third mounting parts and drive shaft are respectively formed of material having a sufficient strength to the springs connecting them together.

[0024] According to this structure, the present invention can be applied as a device which, when mounted on a human body, by driving the drive shaft in the longitudinal direction relative to a human finger, applies torque to the DIP joint, PIP joint and MP joint to support the natural gripping motions of the finger.

Brief Description of Drawings



[0025] 

Fig. 1 is a diagram of a hand exoskeleton device system using a three-layered sliding spring mechanism according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 2 is a perspective view of a three-layered sliding spring mechanism model according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 3 is a partially transparent perspective view of the three-layered sliding spring mechanism model according to the embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 4 is a conceptual diagram of the structure of the three-layered sliding spring mechanism according to the embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 5 is a diagram of the hand exoskeleton device using the three-layered sliding spring mechanism according to the embodiment of the present invention, when an actuator is mounted therein.


Description of Embodiments



[0026] The hand exoskeleton device according to an embodiment of the present invention can be easily mounted onto a human body, and can operate a three-layered sliding spring mechanism serving as a motion transfer mechanism for applying drive power to a distal interphalangeal joint (DIP joint), a proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP joint) and a metacarpophalangeal joint (MP joint) using a single direct acting actuator, thereby supporting the gripping motions of the human body with the device mounted thereon.

[0027] Description is given below specifically of an example of a preferred embodiment of the present invention with reference to the drawings.

[0028] Fig. 1 shows a hand exoskeleton device system using a three-layered sliding spring mechanism according to the embodiment of the present invention.

[0029] The hand exoskeleton device system according to the embodiment of the present invention includes a three-layered sliding spring mechanism 1, and a controller 3 for controlling a drive mechanism 2 of the three-layered sliding spring mechanism 1. This system is mounted on a finger part of a human body and is used to support the motions of the finger part. Also, it is used for passive repetitive motions in rehabilitation.

[0030] Next, referring to Figs. 2 to 4, description is given specifically of the structure of three-layered sliding spring mechanism 1. Fig. 2 is a perspective view of a mechanism model of the embodiment, Fig. 3 is a transparent perspective view of outer mounting parts constituting part of the mechanism model of the embodiment, and Fig. 4 is a conceptual diagram of the structure of the mechanism of the embodiment.

[0031] The three-layered sliding spring mechanism 1 includes a zeroth outer mounting part 4, a first mounting part 5, a second outer mounting part 6, a third mounting part 7, and a drive shaft 8. The respective outer mounting parts 4 to 7 are connected in series by springs 9 to 15 respectively formed of plate springs.

[0032] The first outer mounting upper spring 9, second outer mounting upper spring 10 and third outer mounting upper spring 11 connect the upper portions of the outer mounting parts 4 to 7 and are allowed to slide freely in the longitudinal direction of the sliding spring mechanism 1, that is, in the mechanism longitudinal direction by a first slider mechanism 16, a second slider mechanism 17 and a third slider mechanism 18, respectively. Thus, the first, second and third outer mounting upper springs 9, 10 and 11 are respectively flexible springs having variable lengths. However, the sliding distances of the respective springs 9, 10 and 11 with respect to their respective outer mounting parts 4 to 7 can be limited by stoppers 19, 20 and 21 respectively provided within the slider mechanisms 16, 17 and 18.

[0033] A first outer mounting lower spring 12, a second outer mounting lower spring 13 and a third outer mounting lower spring 14 connect the lower portions of the outer mounting parts 4 to 7 respectively. The lower springs 12, 13 and 14 are respectively fixed to the outer mounting parts 4 to 7 which are to be connected to the respective two ends of the springs.

[0034] The drive spring 15 is inserted such that it is freely slidable only in the finger longitudinal direction within the respective outer mounting parts 4 to 7, while the tip end of the drive spring 15 is fixed to the zeroth outer mounting part 4 with the other end fixed to the drive shaft 8.

[0035] In this case, the outer mounting (parts) upper springs 9 to 11, the outer mounting (parts) lower springs 12 to 14 and drive spring 15 respectively constitute three layers in the mechanism vertical direction. And, the drive spring 15 is interposed between the outer mounting parts upper springs 9 to 11 and the outer mounting parts lower springs 12 to 14 in the mechanism vertical direction.

[0036] When the device being the sliding spring mechanism 1 is fixed to the finger part of the human body, the device is mounted on the nail side of the finger, that is, on the back of the hand. And, the zeroth outer mounting part 4 is fixed to a portion ranging from the DIP joint to the terminal end portion, the first outer mounting part 5 is fixed to a portion intervening between the DIP and PIP joints, the second outer mounting part 6 is fixed to a portion intervening between the PIP and MP joints, and the third outer mounting part 7 is fixed to a palm part.

[0037] The respective outer mounting parts can be fixed to the respective portions of a finger constituting mounting targets using a flexible belt or the like.

[0038] By driving the drive shaft 8 in the mechanism longitudinal direction, the device can be applied as a device which supplies torque to the DIP, PIP and MP joints to support the natural gripping motions of the finger.

[0039] Fig. 5 shows an example of the three-layered connecting spring slide mechanism 1 when a direct acting actuator (an example of the drive mechanism 2) is mounted.

[0040] More specifically, when the drive shaft 8 is driven in a direction to approach the mechanism main body (in Fig. 5, in the left direction), the drive spring 15 slides in the same direction within the mechanism.

[0041] Since the outer mounting lower springs 12 to 14 have a fixed length and the outer mounting lower springs 12 to 14 and drive spring 15 are spaced from each other in the spring arrangement direction (in the vertical direction), the sliding movement of the drive spring 15 generates the flexing-direction movement of the drive spring 15.

[0042] As a result, as the spring lengths of the outer mounting upper springs 9 to 11 are extended by the slider mechanisms 16 to 18, the device is bent.

[0043] In this case, the outer mounting upper springs 9 to 11 prevent the excessive deformation and buckling of the drive spring 15.

[0044] Thus, the motion of the drive spring 15 in the mechanism longitudinal direction is changed to the rotation direction by the springs of the joints. That is, the motion of the drive spring 15 in the mechanism longitudinal direction causes the joints to operate in the flexing-direction.

[0045] Since the outer mounting upper springs 9 to 11, drive spring 15 and outer mounting lower springs 12 to 14 constituting three layers in the vertical direction are bent in a fan shape due to variations in the spring lengths caused by flexing, by setting the dimensions of the outer mounting parts 4 to 7 and springs 9 to 15 properly, the centers of rotation in the flexion movements of the joints can be made to coincide with the substantial centers of the motions 22 to 24 of the human finger joints on which the mechanism 1 is mounted. Here, the substantial centers of the motions 22 to 24 of the human finger joints, as shown in Fig. 5, exist outside the three-layered sliding spring mechanism 1.

[0046] The slider mechanisms 16 to 18 can simply realize the variable spring lengths by setting the partial portions of the spring as free ends and by allowing the free ends to slide freely in grooves formed within the outer mounting parts. Also, the one-side ends of the springs are formed in a T-like shape and cut-outs are formed in the outer mounting parts, thereby constituting stoppers.

[0047] The stoppers within the slider mechanisms 16 to 18 are prevented against the slide movements of a given amount or more and thus are prevented against the rotation movements. In this case, since the drive power is transmitted further to the joints on the terminal end side, thereby promoting the driving of the DIP and PIP joints existing on the terminal end side.

[0048] The sliding spring mechanism 1 can be structured such that the first, second and third outer mounting lower springs 12, 13 and 14 are constituted of a single continuous spring and are adhered to the respective outer mounting parts 4 to 7.

[0049] For the flexion and extension of the human finger, the lengths in the device longitudinal direction (mechanism longitudinal direction) of the springs of the three layers arranged in the upper portions of the joints are decided so that the device can be arranged according to the centers of the joints of the human finger.

[0050] In the device, the dimensions of the springs 9 to 15 and outer mounting parts 4 to 7 and the stiffness of the springs 9 to 15 provide indexes to change the timing for flexing the joints and, the motion of the device is adjustable by changing the indexes.

[0051] For example, the widths and thicknesses of the springs are determined by considering the material of the springs and balance between the joints. When the width and thickness of a certain joint are reduced, the joint is softened and is easy to bend first. Here, when the widths and thicknesses of the joints are set large as a whole, the rigidity of the whole device is high, thereby enabling the joints to generate higher torque. However, in this case, power necessary for driving increases. The stiffness of the springs therefore must be designed by considering the dimension of the human finger on which the device is mounted, the stiffness of the joints, support motions and the like.

[0052] In order to prevent the springs against breakage, preferably, the springs may be used within a range not reaching the yield stress of the spring materials.

[0053] In the drive mechanism of the embodiment of the present invention, there can be used a drive device connected to the drive shaft 8 and including an output shaft for outputting linear motion, for example, an actuator structured by combining a motor and a ball screw.

[0054] Here, in this structure, the distance in the mechanism vertical direction from the outer mounting upper springs 9 to 11 to the drive spring 15 can be set short. Thus, the distance between the drive spring 15 and the outer mounting lower springs 12 to 14 can be set long and, in the conversion of the motions of the joints to the rotation motions (flexion movements), rotation torque can be generated efficiently.

[0055] According to the above structure, using a structure similar to Fig. 1, by mounting the three-layered sliding spring mechanism 1 onto the human finger, power transmission for supporting the gripping motions of the finger is possible.

[0056] Also, according to this structure, since the drive spring is structured to freely slide in the longitudinal direction within the outer mounting parts 4 to 7, for example, when compared with the mechanism of Non-Patent Literature 7, the number of mechanisms parts can be reduced, thereby enabling reduction of size and weight as well as structure simplification.

[0057] While this device can be mounted on the human fingers except for thumbs, when it is constituted of two joints for simplified mounting, it can be also applied to the flexion and extension movement of thumbs.

[0058] Here, when a myoelectric sensor is mounted separately on the human body wearing this device and a sensor signal is input to the controller 3, support motions can be performed according to the myoelectric sensor signal.

[0059] Also, in the above-mentioned embodiment, the hand exoskeleton device compact, easy to carry and supporting the flexion and extension movements of fingers is constituted of the three-layered sliding spring mechanism. This device can be applied to the CPM (Continuous Passive Motion) training of fingers in which passive motions are executed repeatedly. Further, since this device is compact and light, it can provide a device structure capable of mounting on the human fingers and, for example, by operating the robot (this device) using the above-mentioned myoelectric sensor signal, the daily activity motions of a peripheral neuropathy patient can be supported.

[0060] According to the embodiment, there can be realized a device compact, light and capable of supporting the gripping motions of the human fingers. The device is characterized in that it can drive the flexion and extension of the three joints of the fingers using a single drive mechanism and it can transmit large drive power. Further, since the device body is flexible, it can be driven safely.

[0061] Although the present invention has been described heretofore with reference to the embodiment, the present invention is not limited to the embodiment but, of course, it also can be applied by changing it properly without departing from the subject matter thereof.

[0062] Although the present invention has been described heretofore specifically and with reference to the specific embodiment, of course, it is obvious to persons skilled in the art that various changes or modifications are also possible without departing from the scope of the present invention.

[0063] This application is based on Japanese Patent Application No. 2013-046449 filed on March 8, 2013.

Industrial Applicability



[0064] The hand exoskeleton device using the three-layered sliding spring mechanism of the present invention can apply, as a device for supporting daily activity motions, to a passive repetitive motion device or the like in rehabilitation.

Reference Signs List



[0065] 

1: three-layered sliding spring mechanism

2: drive mechanism

3: controller

4: zeroth outer mounting part

5: first outer mounting part

6: second outer mounting part

7: third outer mounting part

8: drive shaft

9: first outer mounting upper spring

10: second outer mounting upper spring

11: third outer mounting upper spring

12: first outer mounting lower spring

13: second outer mounting lower spring

14: third outer mounting lower spring

15: drive spring

16: first slider mechanism

17: second slider mechanism

18: third slider mechanism

19: stopper within first slider mechanism

20: stopper within second slider mechanism

21: stopper within third slider mechanism

22: substantial center of motion of distal interphalangeal joint of human finger

23: substantial center of motion of proximal interphalangeal joint of human finger

24: substantial center of motion of metacarpophalangeal joint of human finger




Claims

1. A hand exoskeleton device being a three-layered sliding spring mechanism (1) drivable by a drive mechanism (2) and mountable on a finger, the hand exoskeleton device (1) comprising:

a zeroth outer mounting part (4), a first outer mounting part (5), a second outer mounting part (6) and a third outer mounting part (7) arranged in series along a longitudinal direction of the finger from a tip end of the hand exoskeleton device, wherein

the zeroth outer mounting part (4) and the first mounting part (5), the first outer mounting part (5) and the second mounting part (6), and the second outer mounting part (6) and the third outer mounting part (7) are respectively connected to each other by multiple sets of upper springs (9-11) and lower springs (12-14) arranged in parallel in a vertical direction,

the upper springs (9-11) for fixing upper portions of the respective outer mounting parts (4-7), each upper spring (9-11) comprising fixed ends for engaging sliding mechanisms (16-18) and an exposed portion between two mounting parts (4, 5, 6, 7), the exposed portions being variable in length so that the fixed ends of the upper springs (9-11) are freely movable relative to the sliding mechanisms (16-18) by a specific distance in the finger longitudinal direction,

the lower springs (12-14) for fixing lower portions of the respective outer mounting parts (4-7) are fixed at both ends to the respective outer mounting parts (4-7),

the respective outer mounting parts (4-7) include therein a drive spring (15) capable of freely sliding only in the finger longitudinal direction,

a tip end of the drive spring (15) is fixed to the zeroth outer mounting part (4) and the other end of the drive spring (15) is fixed to a drive shaft (8), and

the drive spring (15) is configured to bend and extend longitudinally between a first end of one outer mounting part (4, 5, 6) of the zeroth outer mounting part (4), the first outer mounting part (5), the second outer mounting part (6) and the third outer mounting part (7) and a second end, opposite to the first end, of another outer mounting part (5, 6, 7) closest to the one outer mounting part (4, 5, 6),

the upper and lower springs (9-14) connecting together the outer mounting parts (4-7) and the drive spring (15) constitute three layers in the vertical direction, wherein

where the hand exoskeleton device is mounted onto a finger of a human body, the zeroth outer mounting part (4) is fixed to a portion ranging from a distal interphalangeal joint to a terminal end of the finger, the first outer mounting part (5) is fixed to a portion intervening between the distal interphalangeal joint and a proximal interphalangeal joint of the finger, the second outer mounting part (6) is fixed to a portion intervening between the proximal interphalangeal joint and metacarpophalangeal joint of the finger, and the third outer mounting part (7) is fixed to a palm part of the human body, and

while the hand exoskeleton device is mounted on the human body, the drive shaft (8) is driven on the finger of the human body in the longitudinal direction of the finger of the human body, thereby applying torque to the distal interphalangeal joint, the proximal interphalangeal joint and the metacarpophalangeal joint of the finger to support flexion and extension movements of the finger of the human body.


 
2. The hand exoskeleton device (1) according to claim 1, wherein, in the three-layered sliding spring mechanism (1), lengths of the upper and lower springs (9-14) respectively connecting together the zeroth outer mounting part (4), the first outer mounting part (5), the second outer mounting part (6) and the third outer mounting part (7) and a length of the drive spring (15) serve as indexes for changing a timing for flexing the respective joints, and
a motion of the three layered sliding spring mechanism (1) is adjustable by changing the lengths of the upper and lower springs (9-14) and the length of the drive spring (15).
 
3. The hand exoskeleton device according to claim 1, wherein stiffness of the upper springs (9-11), stiffness of the lower springs (12-14) and stiffness of the drive spring (15) serve as indexes for changing a timing for flexing the respective joints of the finger, and
a motion of the three layered sliding spring mechanism (1) is adjustable by changing the stiffness of the upper springs (9-11), the stiffness of the lower springs (12-14) and the stiffness of the drive spring (15).
 


Ansprüche

1. Handexoskelettvorrichtung, die ein dreischichtiger, gleitender Federmechanismus (1) ist, der durch einen Antriebsmechanismus (2) antreibbar und an einem Finger befestigbar ist, die Handexoskelettvorrichtung (1) umfassend:

ein nulltes äußeres Befestigungsteil (4), ein erstes äußeres Befestigungsteil (5), ein zweites äußeres Befestigungsteil (6) und ein drittes äußeres Befestigungsteil (7), die in Reihe entlang einer Längsrichtung des Fingers von einem Spitzenende der Handexoskelettvorrichtung aus angeordnet sind, wobei

das nullte äußere Befestigungsteil (4) und das erste Befestigungsteil (5), das erste äußere Befestigungsteil (5) und das zweite Befestigungsteil (6), und das zweite äußere Befestigungsteil (6) und das dritte äußere Befestigungsteil (7) jeweils durch mehrere Sätze von oberen Federn (9 bis 11) und unteren Federn (12 bis 14) verbunden sind, die parallel in einer vertikalen Richtung angeordnet sind,

die oberen Federn (9 bis 11) zum Fixieren von oberen Abschnitten der jeweiligen äußeren Befestigungsteile (4 bis 7) fungieren, wobei jede obere Feder (9 bis 11) fixierte Enden zum Eingreifen in Gleitmechanismen (16 bis 18) und einen freiliegenden Abschnitt zwischen zwei Befestigungsteilen (4, 5, 6, 7) umfasst, wobei die freiliegenden Abschnitte in der Länge variabel sind, sodass die fixierten Enden der oberen Federn (9 bis 11) relativ zu den Gleitmechanismen (16 bis 18) um einen bestimmten Abstand in der Längsrichtung des Fingers frei beweglich sind,

die unteren Federn (12 bis 14) zum Fixieren der unteren Abschnitte der jeweiligen äußeren Befestigungsteile (4 bis 7) an beiden Enden an den jeweiligen äußeren Befestigungsteilen (4 bis 7) fixiert sind,

die jeweiligen äußeren Befestigungsteile (4 bis 7) darin eine Antriebsfeder (15) aufweisen, die nur in Längsrichtung des Fingers frei gleitet,

ein Spitzenende der Antriebsfeder (15) an dem nullten äußeren Befestigungsteil (4) fixiert ist und das andere Ende der Antriebsfeder (15) an einer Antriebswelle (8) fixiert ist, und

die Antriebsfeder (15) konfiguriert ist, um sich in Längsrichtung zwischen einem ersten Ende von einem äußeren Befestigungsteil (4, 5, 6) des nullten äußeren Befestigungsteils (4), dem ersten äußeren Befestigungsteil (5), dem zweiten äußeren Befestigungsteil (6) und dem dritten äußeren Befestigungsteil (7) und einem zweiten Ende, entgegengesetzt zu dem ersten Ende, eines weiteren äußeren Befestigungsteils (5, 6, 7), das am nächsten zu dem einen äußeren Befestigungsteil (4, 5, 6) ist, zu biegen und zu erstrecken,

die oberen und unteren Federn (9 bis 14), die die äußeren Befestigungsteile (4 bis 7) und die Antriebsfeder (15) miteinander verbinden, in vertikaler Richtung drei Schichten bilden, wobei

die Handexoskelettvorrichtung an einem Finger eines menschlichen Körpers befestigt ist, wobei das nullte äußere Befestigungsteil (4) an einem Abschnitt fixiert ist, der von einem distalen Interphalangealgelenk bis zu einem Ende des Fingers reicht, wobei das erste äußere Befestigungsteil (5) an einem Abschnitt fixiert ist, der zwischen dem distalen Interphalangealgelenk und einem proximalen Interphalangealgelenk des Fingers liegt, wobei das zweite äußere Befestigungsteil (6) an einem Abschnitt fixiert ist, der zwischen dem proximalen Interphalangealgelenk und dem Metakarpophalangealgelenk des Fingers liegt, und wobei das dritte äußere Befestigungsteil (7) an einem Handflächenteil des menschlichen Körpers fixiert ist, und

während die Handexoskelettvorrichtung am menschlichen Körper befestigt ist, die Antriebswelle (8) am Finger des menschlichen Körpers in Längsrichtung des Fingers des menschlichen Körpers angetrieben wird, wodurch ein Drehmoment auf das distale Interphalangealgelenk, das proximale Interphalangealgelenk und das Metakarpophalangealgelenk des Fingers angewendet wird, um Beugungs- und Streckbewegungen des Fingers des menschlichen Körpers zu unterstützen.


 
2. Handexoskelettvorrichtung (1) nach Anspruch 1, wobei in dem dreischichtigen gleitenden Federmechanismus (1) Längen der oberen und der unteren Feder (9 bis 14), die jeweils das nullte äußere Befestigungsteil (4), das erste äußere Befestigungsteil (5), das zweite äußere Befestigungsteil (6) und das dritte äußere Befestigungsteil (7) miteinander verbinden, und eine Länge der Antriebsfeder (15) als Anzeigen zur Änderung eines Zeitpunkts für die Beugung der jeweiligen Gelenke dienen, und
eine Bewegung des dreischichtigen Gleitfedermechanismus (1) durch Veränderung der Längen der oberen und unteren Federn (9-14) und der Länge der Antriebsfeder (15) einstellbar ist.
 
3. Handexoskelettvorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Steifigkeit der oberen Federn (9 bis 11), die Steifigkeit der unteren Federn (12 bis 14) und die Steifigkeit der Antriebsfeder (15) als Anzeigen zur Änderung eines Zeitpunkts für die Beugung der jeweiligen Fingergelenke dienen, und
eine Bewegung des dreischichtigen Gleitfedermechanismus (1) durch Veränderung der Steifigkeit der oberen Federn (9 bis 11), der Steifigkeit der unteren Federn (12 bis 14) und der Steifigkeit der Antriebsfeder (15) einstellbar ist.
 


Revendications

1. Dispositif d'exosquelette de main qui est un mécanisme à ressorts coulissants sur trois couches (1) pouvant être actionné par un mécanisme d'actionnement (2) et pouvant être monté sur un doigt, le dispositif d'exosquelette de main (1) comprenant :

une partie de montage extérieure zéro (4), une première partie de montage extérieure (5), une deuxième partie de montage extérieure (6) et une troisième partie de montage extérieure (7) agencées en série le long d'une direction longitudinale du doigt depuis une extrémité de bout du dispositif d'exosquelette de main, dans lequel

la partie de montage extérieure zéro (4) et la première partie de montage (5), la première partie de montage extérieure (5) et la deuxième partie de montage (6), et la deuxième partie de montage extérieure (6) et la troisième partie de montage extérieure (7) sont respectivement reliées les unes aux autres par de multiples ensembles de ressorts supérieurs (9 à 11) et de ressorts inférieurs (12 à 14) agencés en parallèle dans une direction verticale,

les ressorts supérieurs (9 à 11) pour fixer des parties supérieures des parties de montage extérieures (4 à 7) respectives, chaque ressort supérieur (9 à 11) comprenant des extrémités fixes pour mettre en prise des mécanismes coulissants (16 à 18) et une partie exposée entre deux parties de montage (4, 5, 6, 7), les parties exposées étant variables en longueur de sorte que les extrémités fixes des ressorts supérieurs (9 à 11) soient librement mobiles par rapport aux mécanismes coulissants (16 à 18) sur une distance spécifique dans la direction longitudinale de doigt,

les ressorts inférieurs (12 à 14) pour fixer des parties inférieures des parties de montage extérieures (4 à 7) respectives sont fixés aux deux extrémités aux parties de montage extérieures (4 à 7) respectives,

les parties de montage extérieures (4 à 7) respectives comportent à l'intérieur un ressort d'actionnement (15) capable de coulisser librement uniquement dans la direction longitudinale de doigt,

une extrémité de bout du ressort d'actionnement (15) est fixée à la partie de montage extérieure zéro (4) et l'autre extrémité du ressort d'actionnement (15) est fixée à une tige d'actionnement (8), et

le ressort d'actionnement (15) est configuré pour se courber et s'étendre de manière longitudinale entre une première extrémité d'une partie de montage extérieure (4, 5, 6) de la partie de montage extérieure zéro (4), de la première partie de montage extérieure (5), de la deuxième partie de montage extérieure (6) et de la troisième partie de montage extérieure (7) et une deuxième extrémité, opposée à la première extrémité, d'une autre partie de montage extérieure (5, 6, 7) la plus proche de la partie de montage extérieure (4, 5, 6),

les ressorts supérieurs et inférieurs (9 à 14) reliant ensemble les parties de montage extérieures (4 à 7) et le ressort d'actionnement (15) constituent trois couches dans la direction verticale dans lequel

où le dispositif d'exosquelette de main est monté sur un doigt d'un corps humain, la partie de montage extérieure zéro (4) est fixée à une partie allant d'une articulation interphalangienne distale à une extrémité terminale du doigt, la première partie de montage extérieure (5) est fixée à une partie s'interposant entre l'articulation interphalangienne distale et une articulation interphalangienne proximale du doigt, la deuxième partie de montage extérieure (6) est fixée à une partie s'interposant entre l'articulation interphalangienne proximale et une articulation métacarpophalangienne du doigt, et la troisième partie de montage extérieure (7) est fixée à une partie paume du corps humain, et

tandis que le dispositif d'exosquelette de main est monté sur le corps humain, l'arbre d'actionnement (8) est actionné sur le doigt du corps humain dans la direction longitudinale du doigt du corps humain, appliquant ainsi un couple à l'articulation interphalangienne distale, à l'articulation interphalangienne proximale et à l'articulation métacarpophalangienne du doigt pour supporter des mouvements de flexion et d'extension du doigt du corps humain.


 
2. Dispositif d'exosquelette de main (1) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel, dans le mécanisme à ressorts coulissants sur trois couches (1), des longueurs des ressorts supérieurs et inférieurs (9 à 14) reliant respectivement ensemble la partie de montage extérieure zéro (4), la première partie de montage extérieure (5), la deuxième partie de montage extérieure (6) et la troisième partie de montage extérieure (7) et une longueur du ressort d'actionnement (15) servent d'indices pour changer un moment de flexion des articulations respectives, et
un mouvement du mécanisme à ressorts coulissants sur trois couches (1) peut être ajusté en changeant les longueurs des ressorts supérieurs et inférieurs (9 à 14) et la longueur du ressort d'actionnement (15).
 
3. Dispositif d'exosquelette de main selon la revendication 1, dans lequel une rigidité des ressorts supérieurs (9 à 11), une rigidité des ressorts inférieurs (12 à 14) et une rigidité du ressort d'actionnement (15) servent d'indices pour changer un moment de flexion des articulations respectives du doigt, et
un mouvement du mécanisme à ressorts coulissants sur trois couches (1) peut être ajusté en changeant la rigidité des ressorts supérieurs (9 à 11), la rigidité des ressorts inférieurs (12 à 14) et la rigidité du ressort d'actionnement (15).
 




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REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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