Student Seminar

Advancing Prosthetic Capabilities using Stretchable Waveguides

Friday, 13 January 2017 12:00PM PST
Student Seminar
Camille Bowness
SFU Physics
Advancing Prosthetic Capabilities using Stretchable Waveguides
Jan 13, 2017 at 12PM


A prosthetic hand capable of simulating the sense of touch using stretchable optical waveguides as sensors has recently been developed at Cornell University by Huichan Zhao, Kevin O'Brien, Shuo Li, and Robert F. Shepard.  The prosthetic hand is comprised of a 3D-printed rigid palm and pneumatically actuated soft silicon fingers with embedded elastomeric waveguides. Accompanied by LED light sources and photodiode detectors, these stretchable waveguides act as stress-strain sensors by measuring the change in transmission resulting from deformations of the waveguide itself. Using three waveguides implanted in each finger, the prosthetic hand is able to distinguish between changes in transmission caused by active bending (self actuated), passive bending (forces exerted by objects external to the prosthetic hand system), and pressure at the tips of the fingers (pressing).