Evaluation of two novel methods for finger-mounted unobstructed touch force sensing in medical simulators
Niles, Tyler B.
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The measurement of applied force is a well-documented process with many proven technological manifestations; however, there remain applications in which conventional force detection methods prove inadequate. Detecting palpation (the use of touch force to examine a body) is one such application. Palpation is a method often employed in medicine for diagnosis and screening of a variety of patient diseases during physical examination. This force detection application is challenging because direct force measurement would require placing a sensor on the finger pad, thereby impeding--and, in some cases, blocking--the natural sense of touch. Therefore, it is necessary to develop indirect palpation force sensing methods. This thesis explores and reports results from two novel prototype designs targeted at medical simulator applications.