Sensible Sense from Jeroen Blom on Vimeo.

Industrial Design Master project, 2013
Duration: 8 months

Individual

Special Thanks to:
John Koolen
Livit Orthopedie

Sensible Sense is a project with the goal to design a new tactile sense for hand prostheses.

I created a system with sensors measuring the force acting on each finger and the position of the finger. The tactile display is integrated in the socket and consists of a number of vibration modules spread all over the residual limb. With the continuous data input on one side, and the freedom of expression through vibration patterns on the other side we set out to explore the tactile sense. What characteristics of the interaction are valuable to perceive and what patterns could be distinguished in the feedback?

Through multiple iterations with John, I developed the system to the point where he is able to perceive: 1) movement of the fingers, 2) the moment of the first touch, 3) the amount of finger touching, and thus the area of the grip, 4) the strength of the grip, 5) the duration of the grip. Eventually John could perceive functional feedback like the first touch and the security of knowing the grip was still stable. But maybe even more promising was the fact that he could discriminate between hard and soft objects, and interpret the size of an object.