PhD Engineering: Robotic/Prosthetic Hand with embedded tactile sensing
This project will develop low-cost artificial hands having more sensory functionalities than commercial hands and capable of generating motions like most commercial hands. For sensory functionalities, the project will follow an innovative or intelligent design that allows embedding of tactile sensing embedded in the hand structure. This will be achieved by developing hand structure with multiple channels, which will be filled with transducer or sensing materials to relay the physical stimuli to the electronics embedded in the core of the prosthetic or robotics hand. By using different materials in the channels, it will be possible to simultaneously detect multiple tactile sensing parameters (e.g. touch, pressure, temperature etc.). With simple electronics and frequency domain analysis and artificial intelligence tools, it will be possible to extract additional information such as the textures. Conventionally, discrete sensors and electronics components have been used to cover the outer surface of the limbs (i.e. simply placing or in conformal contact).
More recently approaches to bestow tactile feelings have focussed on flexible and conformable e-skin wrapped around the external surface. An issue with these approaches is that because wear and tear they require frequent replacement of sensors or e-skin, which makes these solutions less affordable. The proposed approach is free from such challenges as the sensing is integrated/embedded in the limb structure. This feature makes the proposed hand more attractive for daily use. The low-cost additive manufacturing and digital technology route will be adopted in this work. The rapid prototyping tools such as 3D scanning and 3D printing, make it easy to meet the requirement related to customization and replacements.
The student will receive full training in advanced additive manufacturing and sensing. In addition, training in characterization and measurement of sensing materials will be provided. Working alongside post-doctoral researchers, the student will integrate various sensor modules to demonstrate high performance sweat monitoring device. As the BEST group at Glasgow University has strong collaborative linkages to leading global industrial and academic partners, the student will have the opportunity to showcase their talents to potential future employers. This PhD is supported by Shadow Robot Company.
For more details on how to apply, please see the ’Apply Online’ link above/below.
Funding is available to cover tuition fees for UK/EU applicants, as well as paying a stipend at the Research Council rate (estimated £14,553 for Session 2017-18) for four years.