The Recovery Glove System Sensor Driven Glove With Interactive Games to Assist With Hand Rehabilitation

Currently, stroke is the fifth cause of death and disability among adults, affecting approximately 795,000 people every year in the United States. Hand mobility is commonly impaired in stroke victims. Treatment for hand impairment range from therapist-guided physical exercises to robotically controlled exoskeletons. Devices that act as a substitute, such as the exoskeletons and neuromuscular electrical stimulation, do not typically rehabilitate hand movements but merely assist movements when the device is donned. A more effective treatment which actually restores hand mobility is encouraging patients to carry out hand movements themselves. Therefore, our aim was to develop a low cost therapeutic device, which better motivated patients, using custom-made, addicting, and fun games to practice hand exercises. An Arduino-based hand therapy device was developed to motivate stroke patients to practice movements that aid in rehabilitating range of motion and hand strength. A glove was embedded with a force sensing resistor (FSR) at each of the fingertips except for the thumb. The FSRs were connected to a voltage divider circuit which fed into an analog input of the ATMega 328P microcontroller. Individual finger presses are detected and the force magnitude of these finger presses are determined in the microcontroller code, and then fed to a computer game engine, developed in Scratch. Each finger is assigned a specific color. The user is required to press a color by doing a functional pinch grip of the appropriate finger with sufficient strength to play each game. There are 7 interactive games: Simon Says, Crazy Drums, The Color Game, Jetpack Joyride, Don’t Touch the Spikes and Grid Guardian. The user presses on the correct sensor associated to the color of the character or object to execute an action A small clinical study was conducted to determine the user-friendly capabilities of the glove games, the gloves’ capabilities in rehabilitating and motivating grip strength, and the subjects’ ability to carry out a standard block-in-text.