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Robot skin based on touch-area-sensitive tactile element

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2 Author(s)
Hoshi, T. ; Tokyo Univ. ; Shinoda, H.

In this paper, we propose a new tactile sensor skin ("skin by touch area receptor" or STAR). The skin consists of two components. One is a sensor element which detects a contact area in addition to a contact force. The element is inspired by the fact that humans can discriminate sharpness of objects sensitively on any part of their bodies in spite of their several-centimeter two point discrimination thresholds. We have developed the sensor element that has such characteristics in a very simple structure; two layers of compressible insulators (urethane foam) which are sandwiched between three pieces of stretchable conductive sheets (conductive fabric). The other component is a sensor/communication chip. The chips are arranged at the boundaries of the elements, and the chips measure the capacitances between the conductive layers and send signals through the same conductive layers. The chips enable us to connect the elements to compose a soft robot skin including no long wires

Published in:

Robotics and Automation, 2006. ICRA 2006. Proceedings 2006 IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

15-19 May 2006