Sense of Touch in PROSTHETICS

This research is conducted in collaboration with the group of Prof. Farina, Chair in Neurorehabilitation Engineering, Department of Bioengineering (, Imperial College London (UK).

Our investigations are motivated by the need of integrating cutaneous sensing into a prosthetic device, enabling a bidirectional communication between the amputee and the prosthetic limb. An electronic skin based on piezoelectric polymer sensors transduces mechanical contact into electrical response which is conveyed to the human subject by electrotactile stimulation

Preliminary experiments have been conducted to determine how well the orientation, position and direction of single lines traced on the artificial skin are recognized by the subject through electrostimulation.  Overall, subjects discriminate the different touch modalities with acceptable success rates, assessing the feasibility of the artificial skin - electrostimulation system for prosthetic applications. 

Number, geometry and position of electrostimulation electrodes together with how to fuse artificial sensor information into electrostimulation are among topics under study.  


M. Franceschi, L. Seminara, S. Dosen, M. Strbac, M.Valle, D. Farina, A system for electrotactile feedback using electronic skin and flexible matrix electrodes: Experimental evaluation, IEEE Trans Haptics, 2016, doi: 10.1109/TOH.2016.2618377



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