As realistic as many artificial hands may look, the currently available prosthetics are still much, much stiffer than human skin.
Engineers introduce a redesign that’s structured to feel more like real flesh, even during a firm handshake.
To find out how to make prosthetics real to the touch, the team, led by John-John Cabibihan of the National University of Singapore, examined various new and old configurations of synthetic hands for their ‘skin compliance behavior.’
In the simulation, prosthetics of this new kind deform about 2 mm under forces like those generated during a handshake (a 2 N force) – a similar amount to human flesh.
By adding 2 mm of height with open pockets of air to the synthetic fingers increased the skin compliance of the silicone material to 235% and of the polyurethane material to 436%.
Also, while an indentation of 2 N force on the new synthetic skin achieved a displacement of more than 2 mm, commercially available prosthetic hands can only achieve 0.2 mm.
The study was published in the Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation.
Image: Cabibihan et al.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com