Japanese engineers have created an exoskeleton glove with a soft pneumatic control. In contrast to the rigid exoskeleton, they retain the mobility of the fingers and not bothering to move them independently. By using such gloves you can spend a medical rehab or something to learn such as playing the piano. Article published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Haptics.
Artificial exoskeleton is an external skeleton, worn on the body (or body part) and the accompanying human movement. Exoskeletons can be passive (stabilize motion or redistribute effort) and active (with engines add strength to the muscles). Potentially, this could massively be used to carry heavy loads, rehabilitation of the disabled and the military. The development of exoskeletons is constrained by the lack of compact sources of energy, but now they have limited application. For example, they can be used to facilitate the running, and recently in America did a series of trial devices to help the movers.
Nobuhiro Takahashi (Nobuhiro Takahashi) and his colleagues made an exoskeleton in the form of gloves, with which you can control the movement of the fingers. There is almost no solid parts, and it is freely bent at any place. The exoskeleton is mounted on the first and last phalanges of the fingers, on the wrists and shoulders. Between these supporting parts for each finger is stretched rod from a pneumatic artificial muscle, as flexing and extending.
The glove has a compression force of about eight Newtons (0.8 pounds-force) in each finger, and allows you to change direction about 10 times per second. Unlike rigid structures, the exoskeleton does not restrict movement and does not stop even if wearing off.
The creators see the device has two main applications. First, it can help with rehabilitation after paralysis or atrophy, either directly for enhancing and developing the living brush. Secondly, according to scientists, this exoskeleton can help in learning the sport or art where you want to deftly move my fingers. For example, if you wear this glove, bring it to the piano keys and activate the program, then the arm itself will start to play, as shown by the creators in the video. Due to this, it will be possible to remember the correct movements and gradually start making them myself, first, simultaneously with the exoskeleton, and then without it.
Informed with the help of an exoskeleton glove from Sony, people already played the piano, but its design is hard, it leaves less freedom and develops a little effort. In addition, there are many technical means to speed rehabilitation. For example, virtual reality helps in the treatment of stroke and electrical stimulation of the spinal cord gets paralyzed the ability to walk.