A strengthened and sensorised custom silicone glove for use with an intelligent prosthetic hand

Peter Kyberd, Duncan Findlayson, Madhupani Jayasuriya, Felipe Chibante

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External gloves for anthropomorphic prosthetic hands protect the mechanisms from damage and ingress of contaminants and can be used to create a pleasing, life-like appearance. The properties of the glove material are the result of a compromise between the resistance to damage and flexibility. Silicone gloves are easier to flex and keep clean, but also more easily damaged. This paper details the use of nanoclay fillers to enhance the properties of silicone, successfully increasing strength whilst maintaining flexibility. The performance of the enhanced silicone is as robust and resistant to tear and puncture as commercial gloves, while being more flexible.

This flexibility makes the incorporation of a piezo-electric pressure sensor based on the EEonyx conductive fabric, practical. A sandwich of the cloth and copper fabric creates the sensor, which decreases in resistance with increasing pressure. The sensors are characterised and production variability within the silicone are tested. Three sensors are incorporated into a glove made to fit around a Southampton Intelligent Hand. The hand adapts its grip shape and force depending on the object held. The technology is adaptable and it can be incorporated in a glove produced to fit any prosthetic hand.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103845
Number of pages10
JournalMedical Engineering & Physics
Early online date3 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022


  • prosthetic hand
  • Silicone glove
  • nano clay filler
  • sensorised prostheses
  • Southampton Hand


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