Science and Technology
publicado em 08/08/2011 às 11h00:00
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Vibration in glove with the fingertips increases tactile sensitivity

In addition to the touch, apply a small vibration on the side of the fingertips also improves engine performance

 
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Foto: Gary Meek
Foto: Gary Meek
Foto: Gary Meek
Minoru Shinohara e Jun Ueda, pesquisadores junto a luva que melhora a sensação do toque Jun Ueda demonstra invenção enquanto essa promove a vibração em seu dedo Protótipo feito na Georgia Tech
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Minoru Shinohara e Jun Ueda, pesquisadores junto a luva que melhora a sensação do toque
Jun Ueda demonstra invenção enquanto essa promove a vibração em seu dedo
Protótipo feito na Georgia Tech

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a special glove with sensors in the fingertips to improve the feel of who to use. Apply a small vibration on the side of the ends of the fingers improves tactile sensitivity and motor performance, according to the search results.

A previous study showed that adding an appropriate amount of white noise - a concept called stochastic resonance - can improve vision, hearing, balance control and touch, but the white noise had not been incorporated into a device that could wear. It is believed that the prototype of Georgia Tech is the first device of this type of stochastic resonance.

"This device could one day be used to help people whose jobs require high precision in manual dexterity or those with diseases that reduce the sense of touch," said mechanical engineering professor Jun Ueda, who worked with the professor of applied physiology Minoru Shinohara for designing and testing the capabilities of the device in a small group of healthy individuals.

The invention uses a stimulator made from a stack of layers of lead zirconate titanate to generate high-frequency vibration. The ceramic layers are piezoelectric, which means they generate an electrical charge when a mechanical force is applied to them. The stimulator is attached on one side of the fingertips to the palm side remains free and individuals can continue to manipulate objects.

For this study, the researchers linked the device to 10 healthy adult volunteers to perform routine sensory and motor skills, including the differentiation of textures, differentiation between two points, identifying a single point tactile and take tests. The experimental results showed that volunteers fared statistically better in all tasks when mechanical vibration was applied.

"All the experimental results showed that some mechanical vibration was better than nothing, but the level of vibration that raised the sensory-motor functions in the test varied statistically," said Ueda.

For each test, the researchers linked the device to the index finger of a volunteer non-dominant finger and underwent six random vibrations that ranged from 0% to 150% of the threshold amplitude of vibration of that person, a value that was determined by previous test . The threshold was the magnitude of vibration necessary for the individual feel that the device was vibrating.

All four tests of detection capability confirmed that the application of certain levels of mechanical vibration increased tactile sensitivity of your fingertips. However, the levels of vibration that created statistically significant results varied, the researchers are currently conducting experiments to determine the ideal range, the characteristics of the vibration frequency and the influence of long-term exposure to these vibrations. The researchers are also working on optimizing the design of the glove and testing the effect of attaching stimulators on both sides of the fingertip or nail.

"The future of this research could lead to the development of an orthopedic device that can help people with damage to peripheral nerves to resume daily activities or to improve the skills of people with jobs that require skills of manipulation or discrimination of textures," said Ueda.

Source: Isaude.net
   Palavras-chave:   Glove vibrating    Tactile    Touch    Motor performance    Lead zirconate titanate    Stochastic resonance    White noise    Fingertips   
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glove vibrating    tactile    touch    motor performance    lead zirconate titanate    stochastic resonance    white noise    fingertips   
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