We present an approach for evaluating the design of Dielectric Elastomer (DE) capacitive pressure sensors on robotic graspers. This approach has used the ANSYS software for Finite Element Method (FEM), along with a MatLab script for calculation of capacitance change. The model has been set up with an axisymmetric indenter and frictionless contact. This study has compared several structured dielectric elastomer (DE) pressure sensors with different sub-surface soft padding thicknesses.
The results suggest that:
-For padding that is too thin the contact area will be small with localized compression and sensor sensitivity will be compromised by this;
-For padding that is very thick compared with the sensor thickness –deformation will be spread over a wider area and the signal sensitivity will be somewhat lower; for a given indenter radius of curvature;
-This suggests that there will be an optimal padding thickness for a given contact geometry.
The approach developed and presented in the paper will be helpful for sensor soft sensor design for different applications, such as robotics and bio-instrumentational systems, in particular, the design of graspers to identify and pick up different objects.
Yuting Zhu, Andreas Tairych, Samuel Rosset, and Iain A. Anderson, "An approach to validate the design and fabrication of dielectric elastomer tactile sensor," Proc. SPIE 10966, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) XXI, 109662F (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures + Nondestructive Evaluation: March 08, 2019; Published: 25 March 2019); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2515283.
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