Finger sensing must be close to practical use

Finger tactile information processing has been much researched in the context of robotics or tele-manipulation. However there is few research which try to capture human finger dexterity to amplify its super power.

One historically notable one is MIT’s vision based research: “Photoplethysmograph Fingernail Sensors for Measuring Finger Forces Without Haptic Obstruction” (2001). The paper wrote “the finger force is measured without having to place any sensor pad between the finger skin and the environment surface. Instead, the force is detected by an optical sensor mounted on the fingernail”. It’s based on “a hemodynamic model of the blood flow in the fingertip”. It succeeded to capture finger tactile information.

NTT Docomo, Fukumoto-san (he is now in MSR), invented “UbiBotton” and “FingeRing” which senses finger taps by arm band and finger rings respectively. University of Tokyo “Finger Ring Device for Tactile Sensing and Human Machine Interface” (2007) succeeded to sense touching and rubbing by the accelerometer by a finger ring sensor. Shiseido recently succeeded to capture finger tactile information (pressure, movement) by a strain gauge and acceleraometer on the nail side of a finger.

Detection of finger movement and touching is enough to provide a simple language for computer control/commaning. In addition, the acceleraometer is cheap now, and the approach looks proimissing.

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