16 May 2017 Parametric investigation of scalable tactile sensors
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Abstract
In the near future, robots and humans will share the same environment and perform tasks cooperatively. For intuitive, safe, and reliable physical human-robot interaction (pHRI), sensorized robot skins for tactile measurements of contact are necessary. In a previous study, we presented skins consisting of strain gauge arrays encased in silicone encapsulants. Although these structures could measure normal forces applied directly onto the sensing elements, they also exhibited blind spots and response asymmetry to certain loading patterns. This study presents a parametric investigation of piezoresistive polymeric strain gauge that exhibits a symmetric omniaxial response thanks to its novel star-shaped structure. This strain gauge relies on the use of gold micro-patterned star-shaped structures with a thin layer of PEDOT:PSS which is a flexible polymer with piezoresistive properties. In this paper, the sensor is first modeled and comprehensively analyzed in the finite-element simulation environment COMSOL. Simulations include stress-strain loading for a variety of structure parameters such as gauge lengths, widths, and spacing, as well as multiple load locations relative to the gauge. Subsequently, sensors with optimized configurations obtained through simulations were fabricated using cleanroom photolithographic and spin-coating processes, and then experimentally tested. Results show a trend-wise agreement between experiments and simulations.
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Mohammad Nasser Saadatzi, Zhong Yang, Joshua R. Baptist, Ritvij R. Sahasrabuddhe, Indika B. Wijayasinghe, Dan O. Popa, "Parametric investigation of scalable tactile sensors", Proc. SPIE 10216, Smart Biomedical and Physiological Sensor Technology XIV, 102160A (16 May 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2262710; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2262710
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