Thick-film sensors for prosthetic hands
The programme of work will aim to fabricate a variety of sensors onto a prosthetic hand. The chosen enabling technology for the sensors is thick-film fabrication, as this will allow multiple robust and compact sensor types to be deposited at a relatively low-cost. The design for the prosthetic hand will be based on an existing device that will be modified to incorporate the sensors. We are aiming to fabricate force sensors based on thick-film piezoresistive material; slip sensors that exploit the piezoelectric behaviour in specially formulated screen printable films and temperature sensors that are made from thick-film thermistors. The sensors will be characterised on a variety of different substrate materials so that the optimum combination can be selected for inclusion within the hand. Extensive testing will be undertaken on the assembled hand with the sensor arrays using a variety abstract objects representing the classification of the functional patterns of the natural hand. Other objects found in Activities of Daily Living tasks will also be used.