BLOG > Force Sensor-Controlled Prosthetics Research – FINAL RESULTS AND DOCUMENTS

It’s been quite a while since I finished up with my Prosthetics Research and the Intel Science Talent Search, so I decided it was time for me to get all of my final materials online.  Below I’ve included my final research paper, two posters, a powerpoint, and a short slideshow of the prototype progression that I played at my booth at Intel STS.  Just for fun, I’ve put up some select pictures from Intel as well.  Please feel free to comment and ask any questions you like.

I am issuing my work under a cc license which allows you to view and share it freely under the conditions outlined by Creative Commons:
Creative Commons License
Using Force Sensors to Effectively Control a Below-Elbow Intelligent Prosthetic Device by Jeremy E. Blum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Download the 20 page Final Research Paper (PDF)
Download the 20×30 Summary Poster (PDF)
Download the 48×48 Presentation Poster (PDF)
Download the 30 slide PowerPoint (PDF)

Watch the “Prototype Progression” video that played at my Intel Booth:

View some of the pictures from Intel STS:


  1. Fascinating project. You did an excellent job on that paper. I found it easy to understand (assuming you know a little bit about electronics). I hope to see that type of prosthetic implemented at a reasonable cost sometime within the next several years.

  2. Hello Jeremy,

    Your work on using force sensrs in prostetcis is very interesting. However, it is my understanding that piezoelectric sensors produce an electric when stressed and also produce stress or strain when an electric feld is applied. Piezelectric sensors generally use a quartz or ceramic material as the sensing element. Tekscan;s sensor are not generally considered piezoelectric sensors . Their sensors use materials whse resistance changes with applied force.

    We would be interested if you knew of any recent key developements in sensors for prosthetics. Thanks.


    Peter Adrian
    Frost & Sullivan

  3. HI, Peter. You are correct, but perhaps you misunderstood my use of piezoelectric sensors. The hand made use of two different types of sensors: The tekscan Flexiforce sensors do indeed use a resistive ink that causes a change in resistance and thus voltage, as you described. Those were used to sense pressure applied by my muscles. In addition to those, the fingers were outfitted with a piezoelectric sensor used for vibration detection. When a object begins to slip from the grasp of the hand, it creates small vibrations which caused the piezoelectric sensor to generate a small output voltage. That was interpreted in the microcontroller, and allowed me to have the hand automatically prevent the object from slipping.

    The next generation of prosthetic device will probably use direct neural connections in conjunction with myoelectrodes. There is also the possibility of force sensors being employed in conjunction with myoelectrodes. However, the most focus is currently being placed on connecting prosthetics directly to the patients nervous system.

  4. very good work this is way cheaper than all available alternatives .Can you elaborate how do you interface your electrodes.

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