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Proceedings Paper

Instrumented fingernails: a haptically unobstructive method for touch force input
Author(s): Stephen A. Mascaro; H. Harry Asada; Kuo Wei Chang
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Paper Abstract

A new type of touch sensor for detecting contact pressure at human fingertips is presented. Fingernails are instrumented with miniature LEDs and photodetectors in order to measure changes in the nail color when the fingers are pressed against a surface, this new sensor allows the fingers to directly contact the environment without obstructing the human's natural haptic rather than the finger pad. Photo- reflective plethysmorgraphy is used for measuring the nail color. A prototype fingernail sensor and is constructed and used to create a fingertip-free electronic glove. Using these new touch senors, a novel human-machine interface, termed 'virtual switch', is developed and applied to robot programming. The virtual switch detects human intention of pressing a switch by measuring the finger touch signal and the hand location. Instead of embedding a physical switch in a wall or panel, the virtual switch requires merely an image of a switch posted on the surface, and hence can be placed on any surface where one wants to place switches.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 December 1998
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3524, Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technologies V, (18 December 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.333682
Show Author Affiliations
Stephen A. Mascaro, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
H. Harry Asada, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Kuo Wei Chang, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3524:
Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technologies V
Matthew R. Stein, Editor(s)

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