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Applied Bionics and Biomechanics
Volume 6 (2009), Issue 2, Pages 217-228

Design of a 2-Finger Hand Exoskeleton for Finger Stiffness Measurements

Angelo Emanuele Fiorilla,1,2 Nikos G. Tsagarakis,2 Francesco Nori,2 and Giulio Sandini2

1DIST – University of Genova, Genova, Italy
2Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Genova, Italy

Received 22 March 2009

Copyright © 2009 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recent studies of human arm movements have suggested that the control of stiffness may be important both for maintaining stability and for achieving differences in movement accuracy. Several studies in the robotic field demonstrated that grasp stiffness is useful for modelling and controlling manipulators but, even though it is accredited that having models of the human finger impedance would be very desirable for the control of anthropomorphous robot's hands, relatively few studies have focused on finger and hand stiffness. To allow the measurement of such entities at the finger level, an appropriate device capable of applying fast force transients while at the same time be able to monitor the finger movements is required. The work presented in this paper is a very detailed report about the design of a new hand exoskeleton system that will be used in our future works to investigate the finger stiffness range in different grasping postures and conditions.