There are many ways in which I can approach this electronically. I believe to start with to save time I will continue to use the dsPIC30f4011 as I am very familiar with it after my robotics module.
The main components I see thus far will be;
- For controlling the mechanics: inclusion of definitely servo motors and quite possibly a stepper.
- For the force ( grip pressure) applied by the hand I’ve come across these force sensitive resistors that I think might be perfect for the job
- For Feed back to the user as to the level of pressure applied there are 4 concepts I’m currently working on.
- An armband that tightens in proportion to that of the grip
- A vibrating armband to signify when the desired grip strength is reached
- A visual indicator of LEDs
- An audible indicator of some sort like a buzzer
Each of the above has their positive and negatives. The latter 2 are interesting but a potential user might not like the attention they might draw. Whereas the former 2 might have health implications such as; a tightening armband becoming a tourniquet and a buzzer could after prolonged use cause HAVS (Hand-Arm vibration syndrome).
As a result a lot of careful study will have to be done as to how to best approach the feedback system