In project 5 we aim at developing soft 3D printed parts with integrated sensing structures for the exo-aid systems. These parts will help in the monitoring of the electrophysiological processes through the integration of pressure sensors, electrodes, wiring and amplifier modules. Some advantages of such parts are:
- Improved ease of use (easy donning and customized fit)
- Intuitive use (sensory based user-intent determination)
- Higher functionality (by increased sensing possibilities)
- Larger flexibility (sensing structures are flexible as well)
- Improved performance (due to customized sensor designs that tightly conform to the body)
To make the fabrication of these parts possible we are developing a multi-material fabrication process, that combines multiple Fused Deposition Modelling printheads and the deposition of silver inks. We are also working on the development of electronics that enables us to do better measurements with dry bio-potential electrodes, e.g. electrodes for sEMG . At last we are also testing new readout techniques and designs for integrated pressure sensors.
Through the development of these technologies we aim to reduce the assembly and number of interfaces required and increase the customizability and capability of future exoskeletons parts.