When people suffer paralysis of the hand and fingers in the wake of injuries or diseases, such as spinal cord injury, stroke, and cerebral palsy, they often cannot perform even the simplest activities of daily life. A polymer-based tendon-driven wearable robotic hand, Exo-Glove Poly, is being developed to restore basic hand and finger function and improve the quality of life for these people. Exo-Glove Poly was developed to use a single motor for the index/middle finger with our tendon under-actuation mechanism, which enables grasping of objects of various shapes. Thumb was fixed with a thumb shape presetting method. It was also designed to permit adjustment to different hand sizes, to protect users from injury, and to enable ventilation. A subject suffering from paralysis of the hands due to spinal cord injury was able to use the glove to grasp objects of various shapes.
Kyu-Jin Cho received B.S and M.S. degrees from Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea and a Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Microrobotics Laboratory. At present, he is an associate professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the director of Biorobotics Laboratory at Seoul National University. His research interests include biologically inspired robotics, soft robotics, soft wearable devices, novel mechanisms using smart structures, and rehabilitation and assistive robotics. He has been exploring novel soft bio-inspired robot designs, including a water jumping robot, flytrap inspired robot and a soft wearable robot for the hand, called Exo-Glove. The work on the water jumping robot was published in SCIENCE and covered by over 300 news media world-wide. He has received the 2014 IEEE RAS Early Academic Career Award for his fundamental contributions to soft robotics and biologically inspired robot design. He has also received the 2014 ASME Compliant Mechanism Award, 2013 IROS Best Video Award, 2015 KROS Hakbo ART (Assistive Robotic Technology) Award and 2013 KSPE Paik Am Award. The Biorobotics Lab has won the 1st RoboSoft Grand Challenge sponsored by European Commission with the robot “SNUMAX” in Livorno, Italy.