Giacomo Pala’s final thesis project, marking the completion of his master’s degree in Advanced Design at Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna.

The project involves designing and developing an innovative assistive exoskeleton to aid patients with spinal cord injuries in performing daily activities. This actuated cable exoskeleton is specifically designed for individuals with severe mobility limitations in their hands due to spinal cord injuries.

The exoskeleton features a 3D-printed TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) structure that wraps around the hand, providing a stable base for the mechanism. The mechanism comprises 3D-printed Nylon rings made with selective laser sintering (SLS) technology and elastic bands serving as the return mechanism, compensating for the hand’s inability to move on its own.

The system uses Bowden cables connected to electric motors, controlled by an electromyographic (EMG) sensor, to actuate the hand’s closing mechanism, enabling patients to grasp and hold objects. The goal was to create an assistive device that is affordable, accessible, and has an attractive design, ensuring it meets both functional and aesthetic needs.