Winkey – A facial wearable robot for supporting eyelid movement
This study proposes a novel facial wearable robot for supporting eyelid movements. The robot is designed for people with facial paralysis, especially on one side of the face. People with facial paralysis are not able to blink, which disturbs their concentration. Keep your eyes open as long as possible. After your patience, what do you feel ? Your eye get dry and feel uncomfortable, and you may hold your eye. The patients who can not blink are suffering from this problem all day long. This problem affects their concentration and they feel difficulty to drive a car, gaze at monitor longer and fine work and so on.
We developed a robot system to support eyelid movements on the paralyzed side, based on the eye closure on the healthy side. The robot has a novel mechanism for supporting the eyelid control, made from soft material, which is called Eyelid Gating Mechanism (ELGM). ELGM deforms by simple rotational or linear actuation inputs and its deformation is customized to eyelid movements. Therefore, this robot can provide non-invasive and gentle support for eyelid movements.