BACKGROUND: Our hands constantly handle objects throughout our lives, where a crucial component of this interaction is the detection of grasping (pressure) and slipping (shear) of the object. While there have been a large amount of studies using pressure sensors for grasping detection, synchronised pressure and shear detection at the finger/object interface is still needed.
OBJECTIVES: This study aims to assess the feasibility of a sensor system designed to detect both pressure and shear at the fingertip/object interface via a single subject test.
STUDY DESIGN: Descriptive study, proof of concept.
METHODS: One healthy subject participated in the study and was asked to perform a single finger test protocol and a simple hand test protocol. The corresponding multidirectional loads at the fingertip/object interface were measured in real time using a pressure and shear sensor system.
RESULTS: Results from the finger test protocol show peak values of up to approximately 50 kPa (5 N) and 30 kPa (3 N) of pressure for each test, respectively. Results from the hand test protocol show a pressure and shear profile that shows a large increase in grip force during the initial grasping of the object, with a peak pressure of approximately 50 kPa (5 N). The pressure and shear profile demonstrates that the load is not evenly distributed across all digits.
CONCLUSION: This study provides evidence that the reported sensor system has sufficient resolution, dynamic response and load capability to capture biomechanical information during basic protocols and hand-grasping tasks. Clinical relevance The presented sensor system could be potentially used as a tool for measuring and evaluating hand function and could be incorporated into a prosthetic hand as a tactile feedback system.