Carducci, J.; Olds, K.; Krakauer, J.W.; Xu, J.; Brown, J.D.
Novel Planar Strain Sensor Design for Capturing 3-Dimensional Fingertip Forces from Patients Affected by Hand Paralysis. Sensors 2022, 22, 7441. (Abstract, Links)
Assessment and therapy for individuals who have hand paresis requires force sensing approaches that can measure a wide range of finger forces in multiple dimensions. Here we present a novel strain-gauge force sensor with 3 degrees of freedom (DOF) designed for use in a hand assessment and rehabilitation device. The sensor features a fiberglass printed circuit board substrate to which eight strain gauges are bonded. All circuity for the sensor is routed directly through the board, which is secured to a larger rehabilitative device via an aluminum frame. After design, the sensing package was characterized for weight, capacity, and resolution requirements. Furthermore, a test sensor was calibrated in a three-axis configuration and validated in the larger spherical workspace to understand how accurate and precise the sensor is, while the sensor has slight shortcomings with validation error, it does satisfy the precision, calibration accuracy, and fine sensing requirements in orthogonal loading, and all structural specifications are met. The sensor is therefore a great candidate for sensing technology in rehabilitation devices that assess dexterity in patients with impaired hand function.