Engineers from Purdue University, University of Georgia, and University of Texas have combined forces to develop a glove that can be put over existing prosthetic hands to give them a more life-like feel and the ability to sense a variety of parameters. The glove is intended to improve a user’s ability to interact with others.
The device is soft and supposedly feels similar to a human hand when touched. It can measure the pressure when shaking someone’s hand or grabbing objects, as well as the temperature, and even hydration. It would seem like with one of these, an amputee would be able to tell whether someone has clammy hands, and keep an eye on that person.
The engineers who created the glove relied on relatively inexpensive processes so that manufacturing of this technology shouldn’t be costly. “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 at Purdue. “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.”
Here’s a Purdue video showing off the new prosthetic glove:
Study in journal NPG Asia Materials: Soft-packaged sensory glove system for human-like natural interaction and control of prosthetic hands