Myoelectric prostheses are successfully controlled using muscle electrical activity, thereby restoring lost motor functions. However, the somatosensory feedback from the prosthesis to the user is still missing. The sensory substitution methods described in the literature comprise mostly simple position and force sensors combined with discrete stimulation units. The present study describes a novel system for sophisticated electrotactile feedback integrating advanced distributed sensing (electronic skin) and stimulation (matrix electrodes). The system was tested in eight healthy subjects who were asked to recognize the shape, trajectory and direction of a set of dynamic movement patterns (single lines, geometrical objects, letters) presented on the electronic skin. The experiments demonstrated that the system successfully translated the mechanical interaction into the moving electrotactile profiles, which the subjects could recognize with a good performance (shape recognition: 86±8% lines, 73±13% geometries, 72±12% letters). In particular, the subjects could identify the movement direction with a high confidence. These results are in accordance with previous studies investigating the recognition of moving stimuli in human subjects. This is an important development towards closed-loop prostheses providing comprehensive and sophisticated tactile feedback to the user, facilitating the control and the embodiment of the artificial device into the user body scheme.
|Titolo:||A system for electrotactile feedback using electronic skin and flexible matrix electrodes: Experimental evaluation|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 - Articolo su rivista|