Analysis of relative displacement between the HX wearable robotic exoskeleton and the user's hand

Marco Cempini, Alberto Marzegan, Marco Rabuffetti, Mario Cortese, Nicola Vitiello, Maurizio Ferrarin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Advances in technology are allowing for the production of several viable wearable robotic devices to assist with activities of daily living and with rehabilitation. One of the most pressing limitations to user satisfaction is the lack of consistency in motion between the user and the robotic device. The displacement between the robot and the body segment may not correspond because of differences in skin and tissue compliance, mechanical backlash, and/or incorrect fit. Findings: This report presents the results of an analysis of relative displacement between the user's hand and a wearable exoskeleton, the HX. HX has been designed to maximize comfort, wearability and user safety, exploiting chains with multiple degrees-of-freedom with a modular architecture. These appealing features may introduce several uncertainties in the kinematic performances, especially when considering the anthropometry, morphology and degree of mobility of the human hand. The small relative displacements between the hand and the exoskeleton were measured with a video-based motion capture system, while the user executed several different grips in different exoskeleton modes. Conclusions: The analysis furnished quantitative results about the device performance, differentiated among device modules and test conditions. In general, the global relative displacement for the distal part of the device was in the range 0.5-1.5 mm, while within 3 mm (worse but still acceptable) for displacements nearest to the hand dorsum. Conclusions over the HX design principles have been drawn, as well as guidelines for future developments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number678
JournalJournal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 18 2014


  • Exoskeleton
  • Motion capture
  • Orthosys
  • Rehabilitation
  • Robotic
  • Wearability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Informatics


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