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Sensing and Force-Feedback Exoskeleton (SAFE) Robotic Glove and Its Applications Open Access

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This dissertation explores the design and applications of haptic gloves. The motivations of this research stem from the need to develop haptic glove systems capable of providing sufficient force feedback while keeping it lightweight and portable without constraining the fingers range of motion. In recent years, significant progress has been accomplished in the field of exoskeleton robotic devices. However, three main limitations primarily dominate the state-of-the-art. The first is the relatively heavy weight of the device, which fatigues the user. The second is the workspace limitation. The third is the lack of sufficient sensors to effectively achieve different applications. In this dissertation, a new robotic exoskeleton referred to as SAFE (Sensing and Force-Feedback Exoskeleton) Robotic Glove is designed, integrated and tested. The device can measure the user's hand motion and assists hand motion while remaining portable and lightweight. Three application scenarios -- rehabilitation, tele-operation and virtual reality -- are also discussed to experimentally evaluate the effectiveness and future potential of the proposed glove system.

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