The Biomedical Engineering Lab of the Institute for Human Centered Engineering (HuCE-BME Lab) at the Bern University of Applied Sciences uses technologies of different engineering disciplines to develop specific solutions to challenges arising in medicine and biology.
In one of the project, WiseSkin, we aim at restoring the lost sensation for upper limb amputees. Providing tactile feedback is essential for active prosthetic users. It can improve object manipulation abilities, enhance embodiment and help reduce phantom limb pain.
Many amputees have maps of referred sensation from their missing hand on their residual limbs (phantom maps). This skin area can serve as a target for providing amputees with non-invasive tactile sensory feedback. One of the challenges of providing sensory feedback on the phantom map is to define the accurate boundary of each phantom digit because the phantom map distribution varies from person to person. In our group, we propose to use support vector machine (SVM) to define the phantom map shape distributions and using the results to design customized tactile feedback systems.