Project: Smart glove with intention detection and mechatronic finger actuation supporting elderly occupation

Acronym Iron Hand (Reference Number: aal-2013-6-134)
Duration 01/05/2014 - 01/05/2017
Project Topic Good hand function is paramount to the performance of almost all tasks in daily life and an impaired hand function can have a dramatic impact on the quality of life of older adults, as they are unable to pursue their occupations. Iron Hand is a smartglove device with intention detection sensors and mechatronic actuators that can be used to support elderly occupation and provide valuable therapeutic data on grip strength. Iron Hand targets two primary user groups: 1) healthy older adults with impaired hand function due to weak grip who wish to continue managing their work occupation and community activities while preserving health and motivation to remain active, 2) older adults suffering from chronic diseases, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, or recovering from acute diseases, such as stroke, who wish to restore their hand function and maintain a healthy level of activity to prevent muscle loss. Iron Hand is specifically adapted for functional tasks in elderly occupation: 1) it can provide extra force for opening and closing the hand in order to address grasping weakness, 2) it is triggered by an intention detection logic that activates the support if and only if the user initiates the movement by a natural and intuitive movement intention, and 3) it can be connected to an external display or send data wirelessly for monitoring purposes. Iron Hand will be sold as an assistive and therapeutic device, the robotic glove and associated accessories and software will be provided via a network of resellers, with the aim to reach a price of less than 1000 Euros for mass market. The Iron Project is based on a user driven iterative development process, with over 200 primary end users from the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland involved from the project start, and at all stages in the project, in order to provide feedback on the design, the product, and the business model.
Network AAL
Call Call 6 – Supporting occupation in life for older adults

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
Bioservo Technologies AB Sweden
Eskilstuna kommun Sweden
Hocoma AG Switzerland
Roessingh Research and Development B.V. Netherlands
Stichting Nationaal Ouderenfonds Netherlands
terzStiftung Switzerland