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The Uncanny Valley and the Search for Human Skin-Like Materials for a Prosthetic Fingertip

By: Carrozza, M.C.; Cabibihan, J.-J.; Benallal, A.; Jomaa, M.; Pattofatto, S.; Dario, P.;

2006 / IEEE / 1-4244-0199-2

Description

This item was taken from the IEEE Conference ' The Uncanny Valley and the Search for Human Skin-Like Materials for a Prosthetic Fingertip ' The ""Uncanny Valley"", introduced nearly 40 years ago, has found its way through the mainstream robotics design theories. For the lack of soft tissue, warmth and poor controls, prosthetic hands were classified near the bottom of the ""valley"". Prosthetic hand designers were cautioned not to cross the ""valley"" by suggesting that prosthetic hands be made of wood, keep its natural wooden color and ignore features like the fingerprints to create elegant/fashionable prosthetic hands. This paper analyzes the feasibility of these suggestions from the ""Uncanny Valley"" in light of the recent trends in prosthetic hand design and the psychosocial studies regarding the impact of amputation to the lives of the patients. A bio-inspired materials selection method is suggested that points to an opposite direction from the ""valley"".