: Despite technological advancements, upper limb prostheses still face high abandonment/rejection rates due to limitations in control interfaces and the absence of force/tactile feedback. Improving these aspects is crucial for enhancing user acceptance and optimizing functional performance. This pilot study, therefore, aims to understand which sensory feedback in combination with a soft robotic prosthetic hand could provide advantages for amputees, including performing everyday tasks. Tactile cues provided are contact information, grasping force, degree of hand opening, and combinations of this information. To transfer such feedback, different wearable systems are used, based on either vibrotactile or force stimulation in a non-invasive modality matching approach. Five volunteers with a trans-radial amputation controlling the new prosthetic hand SoftHand Pro performed a study protocol including everyday tasks. The results indicate the preference of amputees for a single, i.e. non-combined, feedback modality. The choice of appropriate haptic feedback seems to be subject and task-specific. Furthermore, in alignment with the participants' feedback, force feedback, with adequate granularity and clarity, could potentially be the most valuable feedback among those presented. Finally, the study suggests that prosthetic solutions should be preferred where amputees are able to choose their feedback system.

Tactile Feedback in upper Limb Prosthetics: A Pilot Study on Trans-radial Amputees Comparing Different Haptic Modalities

M. G. Catalano;S. Fani;G. Grioli;M. Bianchi;A. Bicchi;
2023-01-01

Abstract

: Despite technological advancements, upper limb prostheses still face high abandonment/rejection rates due to limitations in control interfaces and the absence of force/tactile feedback. Improving these aspects is crucial for enhancing user acceptance and optimizing functional performance. This pilot study, therefore, aims to understand which sensory feedback in combination with a soft robotic prosthetic hand could provide advantages for amputees, including performing everyday tasks. Tactile cues provided are contact information, grasping force, degree of hand opening, and combinations of this information. To transfer such feedback, different wearable systems are used, based on either vibrotactile or force stimulation in a non-invasive modality matching approach. Five volunteers with a trans-radial amputation controlling the new prosthetic hand SoftHand Pro performed a study protocol including everyday tasks. The results indicate the preference of amputees for a single, i.e. non-combined, feedback modality. The choice of appropriate haptic feedback seems to be subject and task-specific. Furthermore, in alignment with the participants' feedback, force feedback, with adequate granularity and clarity, could potentially be the most valuable feedback among those presented. Finally, the study suggests that prosthetic solutions should be preferred where amputees are able to choose their feedback system.
2023
Barontini, F.; Obermeier, A.; Catalano, M. G.; Fani, S.; Grioli, G.; Bianchi, M.; Bicchi, A.; Jakubowitz, E.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1214267
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