Interfacial pressure and shear sensor system for fingertip contact applications

Maria Valero, Nick Hale, Jing Tang, Liudi Jiang, Mike McGrath, Jianliang Gao, Piotr Laszczak, David Moser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This Letter presents a capacitive-based sensor system for fingertip contact applications. It is capable of simultaneously measuring normal (pressure) and tangential (shear) stresses at the interface between a fingertip and external objects. This could be potentially exploitable for applications in the fields of upper limb prosthetics, robotics, hand rehabilitation and so on. The system was calibrated and its performance was tested using a test machine. To do so, specific test protocols reproducing typical stress profiles in fingertip contact interactions were designed. Results show the system's capability to measure the applied pressure and stresses, respectively, with high linearity between the measured and applied stresses. Subsequently, as a case study, a 'press-drag-lift' based fingertip contact test was conducted by using a finger of a healthy subject. This was to provide an initial evaluation for real-life applications. The case study results indicate that both interface pressure and shear were indeed measured simultaneously, which aligns well with the designed finger test protocols. The potential applications for the sensor system and corresponding future works are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-283
Number of pages4
JournalHealthcare Technology Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


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