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Highly Soft Viscoelastic Robot Skin With a Contact Object-Location-Sensing Capability

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4 Author(s)
Yamada, Y. ; Safety Intelligence Res. Group, Intelligent Syst. Res. Inst., Tsukuba City, Japan ; Morizono, T. ; Umetani, Y. ; Takahashi, H.

This paper concerns the development of robot skin capable of accurately sensing the location of objects in area contact with the skin surface. There has been no report on tactile sensing which attained not only skin deformation detection but also contact object location sensing with high accuracy. In the category of optomechatronics technology, we apply optical fibers to transmit surface deformation information of soft skin for sensing the location of an object in contact with the soft skin accurately. In the paper, we illustrate the structure of the robot skin, and describe the principle of both detecting the position of the reflector chips and sensing the contact location of an object. The robot skin is characterized by the fact that the surface is low cost and easily replacable, and the sensing performance is robust against any electromagnetic disturbance. We then show experimental results for verifying the principles using a wedge-shaped object. For evaluating the sensing accuracy, comparisons are made: 1) between the location of a real convex of the object and that of the corresponding estimated polygon and 2) for the position of two vertices of the object when independent fitting and Lagrangian fitting methods are applied.

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Industrial Electronics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:52 ,  Issue: 4 )