Soft Prosthetic Forefinger Tactile Sensing via a String of Intact Single Mode Optical Fiber


We report a prosthetic forefinger with distributed tactile sensing capability based on an embedded single mode fiber (SMF) sensor. We developed a human-size prosthetic forefinger by using soft silicon rubber via a fast wax-casting procedure. A strand of SMF was directly embedded along the palmar side of the prosthetic forefinger. For the first time to our knowledge, an SMF sensor is embedded in a soft silicon rubber-made prosthetic forefinger for distributed tactile sensing that eases the fabrication processes and affords judicious way in large-area, high-resolution applications. Our tactile sensor is interrogated with a distributed Rayleigh backscattering-based optical frequency domain reflectometry system. A series of experiments were conducted to verify the proposed tactile sensor. The reported soft silicon rubber-made prosthetic forefinger with built-in fiber optic sensors opens up promising possibilities for the development of sensing abilities and feedback strategies in artificial intelligence.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Backscattering; Fibers; Frequency domain analysis; Optical fiber fabrication; Optical fibers; Prosthetics; Rubber; Rubber applications; Silicon; Single mode fibers; Fabrication process; Feedback strategies; Optical frequency domain reflectometry; Rayleigh backscattering; Sensing abilities; Silicon rubbers; Single-mode optical fiber; Tactile sensing, Fiber optic sensors; Distributed tactile sensing; Prosthetic forefinger

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2017 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Nov 2017