Advanced features are introducing in the prosthetic limbs with 3D printed construction, advanced materials and embedded sensors. It replaces unadorned wood and plastic of yore, but rest of future is not equally distributed.
To solve this problem Austrian researchers smartening up dumb prosthetics with sensor-packed garment for people who can’t afford or get at this fancy new prostheses
University of Applied Sciences in Linz has invented this pro cover. This smart sock was selected as one of the best papers in the Association for Computing Machinery’s UIST conference.
Pro cover means sensory augmentation of prosthetic limbs using smart textile covers. This smart sock allows for touch discrimination, handle pressure variability, detect binding and create and map sensing regions.
This smart sock is designed in a method to provide the natural sense of touch. Researchers said, “Many of exciting innovations in the field are remaining out of reach for most of the people”. “Our vision is to introduce low-cost sensing wearable applied retroactively to prosthetics to address this gap.”
Many people asked how they designed this pro cover. They said “We saw many people of prosthesis puts socks on them just like any ordinary foot. Why can’t sock is made of smart fabric? After that thought we started making Layers of conductive fabric sandwich a piezoresistive layer, creating a pressure-sensitive grid covering the entire foot and ankle.
This procover has connected to a ring of vibrating motors that can be worn wherever the user finds convenient. Pressure on the particular part of the foot would cause certain motors to vibrate at different frequencies. The researchers tested this smart sock at all angles, what happen prosthetic knee is bent, straight, they collect all the results and made this smart sock.
It is flexible and low-cost way sense to pressure and position and the non-invasive feedback mechanism (it means no surgery is needed)
In this pro type it is very easy to adjust things like position and intensity of feedback or swap out the motors for something else.
In next version, they are going to reduce the complexity of sock even further and developing a glove version that can be worn on prosthetic hands.