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New Sensitive Tactile Film Powers Orthotic Arm for People With Essential Tremor

by Vishnuprasad on October 29, 2015 at 11:18 AM
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New Sensitive Tactile Film Powers Orthotic Arm for People With Essential Tremor

Orthotic devices are tools which are applied to the human body to align, support, or correct deformities, or to better the movement of joints, spine, or limbs.

Researchers at Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute have developed a new sensitive tactile film to use in orthotic devices for people with essential tremor. Essential tremor is a neurological disorder that causes a rhythmic shaking.

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The new technology is known as Higher Sensitivity Tactile-film System for Wearable Orthosis (HSTS). The technology with the help of the thin film detects the pressure regions exerted  by the arm on the orthosis. This allows the device to identify the involuntary tremors and movements initiated by the user.

Tactile film, data acquisition computer, the software that processes the data, and the robotic orthosis are the main parts of the system.The robotic orthosis moves in response to user intentions.
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The film has tactile sensor arrays (basically to measure information arising from physical interaction with its environment) and has benefits over electromyography (EMG) to control an orthosis for people with tremor.

The tactile sensor is not affected by skin temperature and hydration, and can assess the difference between a tremor and intended movement with relative ease.

Source: Medindia
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