This work presents a dual purpose sensor for collecting proximity and tactile information by using a composite with dielectric elastomer (DE) and Carbon Micro Coils (CMC). CMC is a coil-like carbon microstructure with the size of several hundred micrometers, and its electrical characteristics change with the distance between the object or via physical contact. Especially, the impedance change of the composite depending on the distance can be used as the principle for proximity sensing. We present a method to process the materials by using dielectric materials and additives. A prototype of the sensor is fabricated and its feasibility is experimentally validated.
The six axis F/T sensor is a primary component for the robotic technologies, but its high unit cost hampers the popularization to the robotic applications. In this paper, we present a six-axis force-torque capacitive sensor based on dielectric elastomer. Dielectric elastomer is compressed and deformed with external forces acting on it. Its deformation results in the variation of capacitance, which can be used as a kind of capacitive sensing scheme. The proposed sensor consists of plastic structure and dielectric elastomer capacitors. Since it takes a simple structure, it is possible to fabricate by using a plastic molding process, which results in extremely lower cost than existing off-the-shelf products. We present the basic structure and design of the sensor with the explanation of its working principle. A fabrication method dedicated to the sensor is developed and finally, a prototype will be demonstrated with calibration procedures.