E-Gloves For Prosthetic Hand Users Provides Human-Like Touch

Researchers have developed an electronic glove or e-glove that can be worn over a prosthetic hand to provide human-like softness, warmth, appearance and more

prosthetic, e-gloves, science
Prosthetic technician Wilfrid Macena works in a workshop at the St. Vincent's Center, an institution run by Haiti's Episcopal Church in downtown Port-au-Prince, June 4, 2019. VOA

Researchers have developed an electronic glove or e-gloves that can be worn over a prosthetic hand to provide human-like softness, warmth, appearance and sensory perception, such as the ability to sense pressure, temperature and hydration.

The e-glove uses thin, flexible electronic sensors and miniaturized silicon-based circuit chips on the commercially available nitrile glove.

The e-glove is connected to a specially designed wristwatch, allowing for real-time display of sensory data and remote transmission to the user for post-data processing, said the team from Purdue University.

“We developed a novel concept of the soft-packaged, sensor-instrumented e-glove built on a commercial nitrile glove, allowing it to seamlessly fit on arbitrary hand shapes,” said Chi Hwan Lee, Assistant Professor in Purdue’s College of Engineering.

prosthetic, e-glove, science
An employee shows a 3D-printed prosthetic hand, created at the FabLab in city of Irbid, Jordan, Feb. 26, 2019. VOA

The e-glove is configured with a stretchable form of multimodal sensors to collect various information such as pressure, temperature, humidity and electrophysiological biosignals, while simultaneously providing realistic human hand-like softness, appearance and even warmth.

Lee and his team hope that the appearance and capabilities of the e-glove will improve the well-being of prosthetic hand users by allowing them to feel more comfortable in social contexts.

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The glove is available in different skin tone colors, has lifelike fingerprints and artificial fingernails.

“The prospective end user could be any prosthetic hand users who have felt uncomfortable wearing current prosthetic hands, especially in many social contexts,” Lee added in a paper published in the journal NPG Asia Materials.

The team is also seeking partners to collaborate in clinical trials or experts in the prosthetics field to validate the use of the e-glove and to continue optimizing the design of the glove. (IANS)

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