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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Skinprobe 2.0 : development of a system for low-cost measurement of human soft tissues Wick, Alistair


We present "SkinProbe 2.0," a prototype system for low cost, high volume measurement of the physical properties of human soft tissues through direct contact and perturbation of the skin. Our solution encompasses a handheld device and associated cloud-based AI processing pipeline, and derives physically-representative values of stiffness and thickness directly from video. These input videos include images of the surface under contact, and of a "flexure," our novel apparatus for optical force measurement. Videos are captured using a smartphone embedded in the device. Our system processes these videos, generating dense optical flow fields for selected frames, and passing these frames and flow fields through two bespoke Neural Networks: one providing estimated force readings, and one providing estimates of soft-body material properties in the contact vicinity. We automate the collection of training data for our networks with robotics and a 3D-printed apparatus, along with custom-made silicone tissue phantoms, and a cloud pipeline for data collection, storage, and retrieval. This allows us to scale to thousands of samples in each training dataset, with minimal human involvement in collection, and a highly repeatable collection process. We demonstrate the functionality of our measurement device, cloud pipeline, and force estimation system, and show promising material estimation results on our tissue phantoms. We further consider directions for future research in improving our system, both for handheld data collection, and for eventual usage on human subjects.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International