Development of PI-ETPU based sensors for prosthesis control

Pedro Dias
Presentation MSc presentation
Date 2018-08-24
Time 09:30
Location Carré 3446

Development of PI-ETPU based sensors for prosthesis control
In 2018 there is still a huge gap in the market of prosthetics. On one side of the spectrum, there are very simple, inexpensive commercially available products that have little applicability in day-to-day activities. On the other side, there are devices with an extremely high level of complexity that are able to give subjects a great quality of life but never reach the market mainly due to cost limitations. Within these types of devices, myoelectrically-powered prostheses are one of the most popular, where they make use of the EMG signals from the arm in order to control the prosthesis.

The SoftPro project aims to develop novel techniques in robotics (and assistive devices), particularly focusing on upper limb rehabilitation. Looking at the major limitations of prosthetic devices, this project looks into looking for alternatives for EMG electrodes that comprise upper limp prostheses.

Additive manufacturing and its growth in popularity, associated with the development of conductive filaments (particularly Pi-ETPU), present a possible solution for this problem whilst bringing added benefit to the entire process. First, there is freedom to develop structures with variable shape and size, allowing it to be personalised to each individual. Second, the technology is easy to implement and to use.

The following project is comprised of a series of goals. The first goal of this project would be to understand the effects of printing settings on the conductive properties of the conductive material in question. The second goal would be to develop one electrode with this material and perform its electrical characterisation (and see how it compares to the gold standard). Last but not least, in order to prove the real-life applicability of the new electrode, an armband comprised of this new electrode should have the approximate gesture classification capabilities as the one comprised of the gold standard electrodes.

Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2018