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Presented by J. Farserotu
Prepared by the WiseSkin partners
Nano-tera evaluation
Lausanne, January 2017

The problem
Modern electric hands. A: bebionic (RSLSteeper). B: i-Limb
Ultra (touchbionics). C: Michelangelo (Otto Bock)

Amputation of a hand or limb is a catastrophic event resulting in

significant disability with major consequences for daily activities
and quality of life.
Although functional myoelectric prostheses are available today
(e.g. hand), their use remains limited due to a lack of sensory
function in the prostheses.
As the worlds population grows and ages, the number of people
living with disabilities including lost limbs (e.g. trauma, diabetes
or cancer) also grows.
A sense of tactility is needed for providing feedback for control of
prosthetic limbs and to perceive the prosthesis as a real part of
the body thus inducing a sense of body ownership and a natural
sensationToday, there is no solution for restoring a natural sense
of touch.
of touch to persons using prosthetic limbs.

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Solution, main elements and workpackages

The Wiseskin project targets the development of:

a non-invasive solution for restoration of a natural sense of touch.
scalability to potentially many sensors, in a high density sensor network,
and the ability to cover large areas.
embedded wireless tactility sensors in a flexible, stretchable skin
which provides for powering, as well as, RF waveguide and shielding
against interference.
a solution providing real-time response and low latency
sensory feedback via a tactile display (amputation stump) using
miniature actuators
WP1 - ULP event driven communication
WP2 Miniature skin sensors
WP3 Conformal, stretchable power distribution system
A complex, multi-disciplinary project a solution with important impact!
WP4 Demonstrator and sensory feedback

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WP1 achievements radio

The receiver for the target FM-UWB radio has been manufactured. The
power consumption is 420 W from 1 V power supply and the
sensitivity is -70 dBm.
The full transceiver, which includes an improved receiver that should
further reduce the power consumption, and will be manufactured early

V. Kopta, D. Barras, C. Enz, An Approximate Zero IF FM-UWB Receiver for High Density Wireless Sensor Networks, IEEE TMTT 2017.
V. Kopta, et. al., A 420 W, 4 GHz approximate zero IF FM-UWB receiver for short range communications, RFIC Symposium 2016.

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WP1 achievements - protocol

A novel approach for link estimation that uses a single packet has been
implemented as part of the routing protocol.
It has shown to be two-orders of magnitude faster, energy-efficient and
traffic-efficient, than the state-of-the-art link estimation methods, while
keeping the same accuracy.
An adaptive medium access control is being designed to cope with traffic

C. Rojas, D. Piguet, J-D. Decotignie, Single Packet Link Estimation, EWSN 2016
C. Rojas and J-D. Decotignie, Enabling a New Resource for WSN Radio Tomographic Imaging: LQI in Transitional Links, SenSys 2016.
C. Rojas, D. Piguet, J-D. Decotignie, Enabling Composite Metrics in Collection Protocols for WSNs, WiMob 2016.

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WP2 Achievements
Current 3D PCB: 17x12 mm2, 1.73mm thickness

The sensor-communication modules (SCM) for prototype 1.0 have been

designed and manufactured.
Each module is comprised of an icyTRx radio and an off-the-shelf miniature
ST pressure sensor. A miniature Planar Inverted-F Antenna has been
designed and integrated with the module.
Calibration of the pressure sensors has been performed.
The development of soft-MEMS sensors for the target prototype is in process.
A first prototype of soft MEMS strain sensors has been fabricated and

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WP2 Achievements soft tactile sensor

Development of a fully soft tactile sensor

Based on integration of strain gauge into a silicone (PDMS) substrate
(artificial skin)
Gauge fabricated with Au-implantation through a microfabricated shadow
Measured Gauge Factor: GF 25 (in comparison to thin film: GF 2)
Sensor response
2000 0.06
1500 0.04
Au- implantation 1000 0.02
Resistance [] Strain [%]
500 0

Electrical contact 0 -0.02

0 200
Fabricated gauge Time [s]
In collab. : F. Sorba and H. Shea

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WP3 Achievements

Integration of the sensor modules into a flexible skin made of TangoBlack and
metallized polyimide layers was performed.
A new class of soft metallization was designed and developed based on
biphasic (solid-liquid) thin metal films, compatible with large-area and standard
thin-film technology that offers intrinsic stretchability and un-matched
electromechanical performance.


500 nm PDMS

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WP3 Achievements

The miniaturized sensor modules were integrated into a silicone elastomer

scaffold and encapsulated on both sides of the scaffold with thin and stretchable
metallized elastomer membranes.
The membranes were metallized with the biphasic (solid-liquid) thin metal films
that powered the sensors and acted as a waveguide for radio communication.
The integrated sensor modules transduced and transmitted wirelessly forces
between 0 and 25 N.

S.P. Lacour, MRS Fall Meeting, Boston, USA, invited talk, Engineering elastomer
structures for skin-like electronics, 2015
S.P. Lacour, NanoBioTech, Montreux, invited talk. Soft Electroceuticals, 2015
S.P. Lacour., Swiss e-Print, Neuchatel, invited talk. Implementing mechanical
compliance in materials and devices for neural interface applications, 2015
H. Michaud, J. Teixidor, and S. P. Lacour, Soft metal constructs for large strain sensor
membrane, Smart Materials and Structures., vol. 24, no. 3, p 35020, 2015
A. Gerratt, H. Michaud, and S. Lacour, Elastomeric Electronic Skin for Prosthetic
Tactile Sensation, Advanced Funcional. Materials, 25, pp. 22872295, 2015
A. Hirsch, H. Michaud, I. Minev, and S. P. Lacour, Patent EP 15 19 2402, 2015.
A. Hirsch, H. Michaud et. al., Intrinsically Stretchable Biphasic (SolidLiquid) Thin
Metal Films, Advanced Materials, 2016
H. Michaud et. al., Design and Functional Evaluation of an Epidermal Strain Sensing
System for Hand Tracking, IEEE/RSJ IROS, Daejeon, Korea, 2016

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WP4 achievements

Multiple tactile feedback devices, for amputees with

different residual limb conditions, have been developed
and tested with amputees and healthy subjects.
A prosthetic hand integrated with tactile sensors and
feedback actuators was evaluated (amputee with hand
phantom map).
Regulatory application to do clinical studies with
University Hospital Balgrist has been approved by the
Cantonal Ethics Committee Zurich.
An algorithm able to detect 9 different hand movement
intentions based on sEMG signals was developed (93%
detection accuracy).
An automatic method of phantom map detection based
on support vector machines (SVM) has been developed.

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WP4 achievements - phantom map detection using
Used to quickly detect the hand phantom map distributions
To fine-tune tactile feedback based on the actual hand phantom map

a) b)

a) Generated phantom map b) Detected phantom map

Actual phantom map

H. Huang, et. al., Automatic phantom map detection methods, oral, IEEE BioCAS 2015.
T. Li, et. al., Design a Low-Cost Tactile Sensor Glove by Integrating Miniature Commercial Barometers, poster, Swiss Soc. of Biomedical
Eng.(SSBE 15), Neuchatel, 26th - 27th Aug., 2015.
T. Li et. al., Tactile display on the remaining hand for unilateral hand amputees, Current Directions in Biomedical Engineering 16; 2(1):
399403, DOI 10.1515/cdbme-2016-0089.
H. Huang, et. al, EMG Pattern Recognition Using Decomposition Techniques for Constructing Multiclass Classifiers, 6th IEEE RAS/EMBS
BioRob 16, June 26-29, 2016. UTown, Singapore.
T. Li, et. al., A Miniature Multimodal Actuator for Effective Tactile Feedback: Design and Characterization, EUROSENSORS 16.
H. Huang, et. al., Experiment and Investigation of Two Types of Vibrotactile Devices, BioRob16 June 26-29, 2016. UTown, Singapore.
H. Huang, T. Li and V. Koch, A Hybrid Stimulation Device for Providing Sensory Feedback, ACTUATOR 16, Bremen, GE.

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A WiseSkin prototype has been developed

Communication is achieved using Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE).
Prototype 1.0 comprises five SCMs, one for each fingertip,
integrated into the skin.
The sensor data are sent to an iPAD via BTLE and subsequently to a
PC which drives the tactile display.
A Planar Inverted-F Antenna has been designed and integrated in
the SCM boards. Tests demonstrate the benefits of wave

propagation inside the structure, using top-bottom metallic Ground


Feed port

waveguides, compared to free space.

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Testing of the prototype on amputees with
a phantom map

Prosthesis: Ottobock Digital Twin 8E38=7

Tactile feedback was given to the phantom map with vibration motors

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Success stories
Wiseskin prototype 1.0 developed
Successful manufacturing of the Rx for the target FM-UWB radio (TRX in
The testing of the routing protocol transitioned from simulators to embedded
Design and manufacturing of WiseSkin sensor-comm module for prototype 1.0
Design and manufacturing of on-chip antenna for prototype 1.0
Wave propagation tests in structure show significant improvement wrt free
D&D of a new class of soft metallization based on biphasic (solid-liquid) thin
metal films
Test of stimulation and sensor feedback devices with amputees and healthy
Dissemniation, exploitation and entrepreneurship
Collaboration: Uni Hospital Balgrist and Botta Orthopaedics AG and Lund
Students: 4 WiseSkin PhDsCopyright
+ 3 Post-Docs
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Next steps and the future

Next steps
Further enhancement of the prototype and testing with volunteers,
completion of the design and development of the target system
components and final WiseSkin demo
What WiseSkin provides
Wiseskin provides a complete and innovative solution for the restoration
of natural sense of touch that combines scalability and sustainability.
It does so through the use of wireless, low-power sensing modules
combined with a stretchable skin employing advanced, biphasic
materials that can be attached to almost any surface, together with
non-invasive feedback achieved via the phantom map effect.
The future and other potential applications
Beyond prosthetics, the developed sensory skin has potential
application in the domains of rehabilitation (e.g. from stroke), service
robots working alongside people (safety) and more in haptic interfaces
(e.g. virtual reality, games and the haptic Internet).

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Thank you for your
The WiseSkin Team

WiseSkin 2016 | Page 16