A Fluid Mechanics Approach to the Problem of Sensory Feedback in Prosthetic Devices

  • Roy B. DavisIII
  • Daniel J. Schneck


Structural replacement of amputated limbs has been common for hundreds, even thousands, of years (1). However, the concept of restoring more than the lost structure and supporting musculature, for example, the lost sensory information, is relatively new. Even newer is the idea of using a fluid to transmit tactile information, rather than the more traditional transducers (e.g., strain gauges mounted on cables or various other parts of the terminal device). To use a fluid for this purpose increases the scope and potential for accessing sensory information. That is, the acquisition and transmission of such quantities as heat, prehensile slippage and/or prehensile forces (pressure and shear) is greatly simplified. On this basis, a new type of terminal device for an upper-extremity amputee has been designed and is described below. The device will allow fluids to act as the medium for the transmission of sensory feedback information to the prosthetic wearer. It also introduces a push/pull mode of operation which incorporates a versatile, previously unavailable, wrist mechanism.


Sensory Feedback Cable Tension Terminal Device Myoelectric Control Artificial Limb 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roy B. DavisIII
    • 1
  • Daniel J. Schneck
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics Virginia Polytechnic InstituteState UniversityBlacksburgUSA

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