HANNOVER MESSE 2020,
20 - 24 April
Impairments to hand sensorimotor functions are among the most common consequences of traumatic and neurological conditions affecting the central and peripheral nervous systems, such as cerebrovascular accident, spinal cord injuries, and cerebral palsies.
Due to the fundamental role that our hands play during everyday living, deficits in arms and hand functioning are heavily disabling conditions that drastically reduce the personal independence during daily life and the social participation of affected individuals, making their restoration one of the topmost priorities for these users. Proper and comprehensive management of such conditions is therefore key not only to ensure a proper quality of life for users with motor disabilities and their families, but to limit as well the growing costs due to prolonged disabilities for national healthcare systems.
At the CNBI and BioRob laboratories at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, we developed Yago, a novel hand exoskeleton that aims at assisting independence and promoting intensive use for people with impaired hand functions, within both clinical and domestic settings. Based on a proprietary artificial tendon technology, the system is fully wearable and portable, and customizable to the needs of different users.
The device was iteratively designed, developed and tested in collaboration with partner clinics, including healthcare professionals (such as neurologists, occupational therapists, ergotherapists, physiotherapists), and with users who suffered from motor disabling conditions (such as e.g. spinal-cord injuries, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cerebrovascular accidents and cerebral palsies). Experimental results showed that the exoskeleton could help these users regain capabilities needed for independence in daily life they had lost since their disabling accidents, such as e.g. grasping and holding glasses and bottles for autonomous drinking, use of cutlery for autonomous eating, and writing with pens.
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