Continuous Progressive Actuator Robot for Hand Rehabilitation


  • S. Z. Ying Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia
  • N. K. Al-Shammari Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Hail, Saudi Arabia
  • A. A. Faudzi Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia
  • Y. Sabzehmeidani Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia
Volume: 10 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 5276-5280 | February 2020 |


This paper presents the development of a soft rehabilitation robot to conduct Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) for hand rehabilitation. The main contribution of this work is the implementation of a McKibben actuator as an artificial muscle due to its proven advantages: simple structure, light weight, and high power-to-weight ratio. The development worked successfully when tested on a healthy subject, where the flexion and extension of the finger were controlled with an antagonistic pair of actuators. However, there is a limitation of the McKibben actuator regarding its length-dependency. In this research, the concept of a pulley system was proposed to overcome this limitation. Although there is a friction factor that reduces the contracting displacement by at least 15% of the original displacement, a pulley is still a potential solution as it can reduce the installation space of the actuator from 40 to 15cm while still producing sufficient force for the finger motion. Throughout this research, it was found that the pattern of the flexor pulley system is affecting the system’s efficiency in terms of motion assistance.


McKibben actuator, Continuous Passive Motion, finger exoskeleton, hand rehabilitation


Download data is not yet available.


NASAM, “What is stroke”, available at: [accessed: 29-Nov-2019]

AHCPR, Recovering after a stroke : A patient and family guide, AHCPR Publication, No. 16, AHCPR, 1995

M. Karadesh, “Flexor pulley system”, available at:, [Accessed: 29-Nov-2019].

H. I. Krebs, B. Volpe, “Rehabilitation robotics: Performance-based progressive robot-assisted therapy”, Autonomous Robots, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 7–20, 2003 DOI:

S. Ueki, H. Kawasaki, S. Ito, Y. Nishimoto, M. Abe, T. Aoki, Y. Ishigure, T. Ojika, T. Mouri, “Development of a hand-assist robot with multi-degrees-of-freedom for rehabilitation therapy”, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 136–146, 2012 DOI:

J. Iqbal, H. Khan, N. G. Tsagarakis, D. G. Caldwell, “A novel exoskeleton robotic system for hand rehabilitation – conceptualization to prototyping”, Biocybernatics and Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 34, No. 2, pp. 79–89, 2014 DOI:

J. Iqbal, O. Ahmad, A. Malik, “HEXOSYS II: Towards realization of light mass robotics for the hand”, 14th IEEE International Multitopic Conference, Karachi, Pakistan, December 22-24, 2011 DOI:

I. H. Ertas, E. Hocaoglu, V. Patoglu, “AssistOn-Finger: An under- actuated finger exoskeleton for robot-assisted tendon therapy”, Robotica, Vol. 32, No. 8, pp. 1363–1382, 2014 DOI:

Z. Tang, S. Sugano, H. Iwata, “A finger exoskeleton for rehabilitation and brain image study”, IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, Seattle, USA, June 24-26, 2013

I. Ben Abdallah, Y. Bouteraa, C. Rekik, “Design and development of 3d printed myoelectric robotic exoskeleton for hand rehabilitation”, International Journal on Smart Sensing Inteligent System, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 341-366, 2017 DOI:

F. Zhang, Y. Fu, Q. Zhang, S. Wang, “Experiments and kinematics analysis of a hand rehabilitation exoskeleton with circuitous joints”, Biomedical Materials and Engineering, Vol. 26, pp. S665–S672, 2015 DOI:

I. N. A. Mohd Nordin, M. R. Muhammad Razif, A. M. Faudzi, E. Natarajan, K. Iwata, K. Suzumori, “3-D finite-element analysis of fiber- reinforced soft bending actuator for finger flexion”, IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics: Mechatronics for Human Wellbeing, Wollongong, Australia, July 9-12, 2013 DOI:

A. Chen, R. Yin, L. Cao, C. Yuan, H. K. Ding, W. J. Zhang, “Soft robotics: Definition and research issues”, 2017 24th International Conference on Mechatronics and Machine Vision in Practice, Auckland, New Zealand, November 21-23, 2017 DOI:

K. Suzumori, S. Endo, T. Kanda, N. Kato, H. Suzuki, “A bending pneumatic rubber actuator realizing soft-bodied manta swimming robot”, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Roma, Italy, April 10-14, 2007 DOI:

Y. Nishioka, M. Uesu, H. Tsuboi, S. Kawamura, “Proposal of an extremely lightweight soft actuator using plastic films with a pleated structure”, 19th International Conference on Mechatronics and Machine Vision in Practice, Auckland, New Zealand, November 28-30, 2012

R. V. Martinez, C. R. Fish, X. Chen, G. M. Whitesides, “Elastomeric origami: Programmable paper-elastomer composites as pneumatic actuators”, Advanced Functional Materials, Vol. 22, No. 7, pp. 1376– 1384, 2012 DOI:

B. Tondu, “Modelling of the McKibben artificial muscle: A review”, Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 225–253, 2012 DOI:

CDC, “Stroke facts”, available at:, [Accessed: 10-Jan-2019]

C. P. Chou, B. Hannaford, “Measurement and modeling of McKibben pneumatic artificial muscles”, IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 90–102, 1996 DOI:

R. D. Vocke, C. S. Kothera, A. Chaudhuri, B. K. S. Woods, N. M. Wereley, “Design and testing of a high-specific work actuator using miniature pneumatic artificial muscles”, Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Strucures, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 365–378, 2012 DOI:

F. E. Idachaba, E. M. Idachaba, “Robust e-health communication architecture for rural communities in developing countries”, Engineering, Technology & Applied Science Research, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 237-240, 2012 DOI:


How to Cite

S. Z. Ying, N. K. Al-Shammari, A. A. Faudzi, and Y. Sabzehmeidani, “Continuous Progressive Actuator Robot for Hand Rehabilitation”, Eng. Technol. Appl. Sci. Res., vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 5276–5280, Feb. 2020.


Abstract Views: 563
PDF Downloads: 368

Metrics Information
Bookmark and Share

Most read articles by the same author(s)