Background: How to enhance the quality of life for the elderly has emerged as a key issue in many nations due to the ageing population. Stroke is the most prevalent disease among the elderly; specifically, the hand dysfunction caused by stroke is also a powerful obstacle to the daily life of the elderly. Soft Exoskeletons for Hand Rehabilitation (SEHRs) have become a major trend for the future due to the increasing demand for hand rehabilitation.
Objective: To provide a reference for readers in this field by introducing the most recent research developments in the field of SEHR, including their classification and properties.
Methods: By reviewing different types of hand rehabilitation exoskeleton research papers and patents, the advantages and disadvantages, differences, and applications of various SEHRs were summarized.
Results: According to the driving mode and realizing the function of SEHRs, the structure characteristics of SEHRs are analyzed and compared. The key problems and future development trends of SEHRs were expounded.
Conclusion: According to the driving method, the research shows that SEHRs can be divided into Air-Driven Soft Exoskeletons for Hand Rehabilitation (ADSEHRs), Motor-Driven Soft Exoskeletons for Hand Rehabilitation (MDSEHRs), and Hybrid-Driven Soft Exoskeletons for Hand Rehabilitation (HDSEHRs). Future research is required to further optimize the flexibility and adaptability of soft exoskeletons, improve their accuracy and sensitivity, and enhance human-machine interaction with the human hand.