Tailor-made hand exoskeletons at the university of florence: From kinematics to mechatronic design

Nicola Secciani, Matteo Bianchi, Alessandro Ridolfi, Federica Vannetti, Yary Volpe, Lapo Governi, Massimo Bianchini, Benedetto Allotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recently, robotics has increasingly become a companion for the human being and assisting physically impaired people with robotic devices is showing encouraging signs regarding the application of this largely investigated technology to the clinical field. As of today, however, exoskeleton design can still be considered a hurdle task and, even in modern robotics, aiding those patients who have lost or injured their limbs is surely one of the most challenging goal. In this framework, the research activity carried out by the Department of Industrial Engineering of the University of Florence concentrated on the development of portable, wearable and highly customizable hand exoskeletons to aid patients suffering from hand disabilities, and on the definition of patient-centered design strategies to tailor-made devices specifically developed on the different users' needs. Three hand exoskeletons versions will be presented in this paper proving the major taken steps in mechanical designing and controlling a compact and lightweight solution. The performance of the resulting systems has been tested in a real-use scenario. The obtained results have been satisfying, indicating that the derived solutions may constitute a valid alternative to existing hand exoskeletons so far studied in the rehabilitation and assistance fields.

Original languageEnglish
Article number22
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2019


  • Biomechanical engineering
  • Hand exoskeleton
  • Kinematic analysis
  • Mechanism design and optimization
  • Mechatronics
  • Wearable robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Control and Optimization
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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