Device for customized controlled grip assistance
Data di pubblicazione
Data di priorità
International PCT patent application
Politecnico di Milano
Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering
Alessandra Pedrocchi, Giovanni Maria Foglia
The device is an electromagnet that can be worn on the wrist (like a bracelet or a wristband) and on the hand of the user (two little electrical joints on the palm or on the back), aimed to strengthen his/her grip ability. This device is aimed to assist people with reduced or none grip ability because of a permanent or temporary neuro-motor disease. If the object to be gripped is not ferromagnetic (e.g.: a glass), it is sufficient to add a ferromagnetic portion to the object (e.g.: a little strip) or to put the object in a suited ferromagnetic case.
The user can activate and de-activate the electromagnet through multiple solutions, for example with a button, through vocal control via Bluetooth or through smart-devices, such as tablets or smartphones. Moreover, the system can modulate the level of assistance allowing a customization of the device on the single user’s need; it is possible to control the grip force in order to follow the dynamic processes of improvement of the patient (during rehabilitation) or of worsening due to neurodegenerative diseases.
Campo di applicazione
The goal of this invention is to support people affected by neuro-motor disabilities of the hand, e.g. people affected by multiple sclerosis or people who suffered an ictus. The application field is the biomedical/rehabilitative one, for patients who need help to grip objects.
However, this device can be used in other fields, like the sports one, where there is the necessity to modulate and assist the grip ability of the user. Some athletes can benefit from this device during training, for example to avoid slipping and to enhance the grip force. This idea could be exploited also in the military or industrial field when grip force is necessary and has to be particularly strong or stable.
The main advantage of this device compared with the state of the art is the possibility to voluntarily activate or deactivate the grip, tuning the force according to the situation. Moreover, this device guarantees a direct interaction between the user hand and the object he/she wants to grip, together with direct sensorial and tactile perception: indeed, the palm of the hand is free, except for the two small electrical joints, and not covered by a glove or other cover elements.
Stadio di sviluppo
The device was designed and sized, and the inventors are now realizing a prototype.