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Towards The Integration of E-skin into Prosthetic Devices

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Short Description

Myoelectric prostheses are successfully controlled using muscle electrical activity, thereby restoring lost motor functions. The association prosthesis-muscle provides an intuitive connection between the brain and the prosthesis, but this connection is unidirectional. A bilateral communication between the brain and the periphery is necessary for the human movement learning and execution. However, the somatosensory feedback from the prosthesis to the user is still missing. Integrating distributed sensing and stimulation system into prosthesis would allow to close the prosthesis control loop by providing sensory feedback to the user. It is a key point in research on active prosthetics as well as an often cited requirement of the prosthesis users. The main focus of this project is desing and implement an embedded devices based on a ultra low power processor (PULP) desinged in IIS that is able to process the data from e-skin and and a stimulation system including. The student will evalute different algorithm to process the data from these sensors and one or two algorithms will be implemented directly in the PULP processor. One of main challenging goal of the project is bring these algorithm in an embedded system that will consume a power in the order of milliwatt and eventually supply it with energy harvesting from the human body. A full system will be developed that will incldue the processing part, the wireless interface (eventually using on-body communication) and energy harvesting during the project. The project will be supervise in collaboration with Cosmic Lab, University of Genova (prof. Maurizio Valle / Dr Ali Ibrahim). Depending on the applicant's profile and project type, his tasks may involve some of the following:

  • lab. testing/characterization of the existing prototype: verification of the prototype's characteristics w.r. design specification (simulations), measuring power-consumption, and assessing detection performance in lab. conditions
  • programming the PULP processor for the specific application, otimize the code and carry out in-field testing
  • Eventaully printed circuit-board design to make improve the existing hardware prototypes.

Status: Available

  • Looking for Semester and Master Project Students
Supervisors: Michele Magno


(not all need to be met by the single candidate)

  • experience using the laboratory instrumentation - signal generators, oscilloscopes, DAQ cards, Matlab etc.
  • analog electronics and signal conditioning with operational amplifiers: amplifiers, filters, integrators etc.
  • knowledge of microcontroller programming (C, MP-ARM, preferably knoledge of PULP processor or other multicore but it is not mandatory)
  • basic knowledge on signal processing is a plus.
  • plus is knowledge on printed circuit board (PCB) using Altium.


35% Theory
45% Implementation
20% Testing


Luca Benini

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Practical Details