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Planar and finger-shaped optical tactile sensors for robotic applications

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1 Author(s)
S. Begej ; Begej Corp., Littleton, CO, USA

Progress is described regarding the development of optical tactile sensors specifically designed for application to dexterous robotics. These sensors operate on optical principles involving the frustration of total internal reflection at a waveguide/elastomer interface and produce a grey-scale tactile image that represents the normal (vertical) forces of contact. The first tactile sensor discussed is a compact, 32×32 planar sensor array intended for mounting on a parallel-jaw gripper. Optical fibers were employed to convey the tactile image to a CCD camera and microprocessor-based image analysis system. The second sensor had the shape and size of a human fingertip and was designed for a dexterous robotic hand. It contained 257 sensing sites (taxels) distributed in a dual-density pattern that included a tactile fovea near the tip measuring 13×13 mm and containing 169 taxels. The design and construction details of these tactile sensors are presented, in addition to photographs of tactile imprints

Published in:

IEEE Journal on Robotics and Automation  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 5 )