Piezoelectric bimorphs’ characteristics as in-socket sensors for transfemoral amputees

Ahmed, Amr and Hamzaid, Nur Azah and Abu Osman, Noor Azuan (2014) Piezoelectric bimorphs’ characteristics as in-socket sensors for transfemoral amputees. Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), 14 (12). pp. 23724-23741. ISSN 1424-8220 (https://doi.org/10.3390/s141223724)

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Alternative sensory systems for the development of prosthetic knees are being increasingly highlighted nowadays, due to the rapid advancements in the field of lower limb prosthetics. This study presents the use of piezoelectric bimorphs as in-socket sensors for transfemoral amputees. An Instron machine was used in the calibration procedure and the corresponding output data were further analyzed to determine the static and dynamic characteristics of the piezoelectric bimorph. The piezoelectric bimorph showed appropriate static operating range, repeatability, hysteresis, and frequency response for application in lower prosthesis, with a force range of 0–100 N. To further validate this finding, an experiment was conducted with a single transfemoral amputee subject to measure the stump/socket pressure using the piezoelectric bimorph embedded inside the socket. The results showed that a maximum interface pressure of about 27 kPa occurred at the anterior proximal site compared to the anterior distal and posterior sites, consistent with values published in other studies. This paper highlighted the capacity of piezoelectric bimorphs to perform as in-socket sensors for transfemoral amputees. However, further experiments are recommended to be conducted with different amputees with different socket types.