Updated: Mar 20
I'm Francesco Bondesani and I am a 2nd year Medical Student at Humanitas University (IT). I've been collaborating with Ali for the past 4 years, testing different versions of FlowIO devices for their possible application in the field of medicine and rehabilitation.
The purpose of SoftGlove is to be used in the rehabilitation process of patients who lost the ability to control the movements of one hand.
The glove itself has the palm cut off to improve wearability by an impaired patient, and it can be fixed through velcro straps on the hand.
It has a soft-robotic actuators positioned on the top of each finger, glued to the glove and connected to the FlowIO device, which is itself fixed on the wrist by a couple of velcro straps.
By controlling the FlowIO output, it is possible to cause the extension and the flexion of individual finger or even multiple combination of them in the hand of the patient by inflating and deflating the different actuators.
The main advantages of SoftGlove are: the small size, the light weight, the durability, the cheap production cost and the ease of use. Additionally, even its capability of controlling all of the fingers together and/or independently is something many other current devices lack the ability to do.
At this moment I'm collaborating with Davide Bacilieri, a graduate student at the University of Ferrara in Physics, who is now doing a Master degree in Physics of Data at the University of Padova. Together we are working on new, different ways to control the FlowIO. Up to now, it has always been controlled through a computer interface. However, the goal is to have it controlled through a system which would allow it to have the impaired hand mirroring the movements of a healthy hand, so that the device could be used in Mirror Therapy procedures.