We think the project is a fantastic program for flex PCBs, and also a perfect entry into our Adaptive PCB Contest. You need to enter also. Although [chris ] includes an image, you don’t need one to input. Do something up on Fritzing, make a full EAGLE schematic, or jot down a block diagram on a napkin. We wish to see your ideas, and when it’s good you can win a bend PCB to get you started. What exactly are you waiting for?
What prosthetic limbs may do these days is nothing short of awesome, and can change the life span of an amputee is a lot of ways. But regardless of what innovative actuators and sensors are inserted to the user, it’s to interface with the wearer’s body, and that may lead to difficulties.
Assessing and mapping the pressure on the residual limb is the business of this elastic force-sensing matrix. [chris.coulson] was reminded of a piezoresistive yoga mat build from [Marco Reps], which we featured a while back, and guessed a scaled-down version might be just the item to map stress points across the prosthetic interface. Instead of copper tape [ Marco ]’s web utilized, [chris ] chose flexible PCBs to sandwich the Velostat piezoresistive substance. A port board multiplexes the 16 elements of the sensor array to a PIC which records and collects testing data. [chris] even assembled a test stand using a solenoid to apply pressure and examine its own frequency response to ascertain what sorts of measurements are possible.