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This paper presents the development and preliminary experimental analysis of a soft compliant tactile microsensor (SCTM) with minimum thickness of 2 mm. A high shear sensitive triaxial force microsensor was embedded in a soft, compliant, flexible packaging. The performance of the whole system, including the SCTM, an electronic hardware and a processing algorithm, was evaluated by static calibration, maximum load tests, noise and dynamic tests, and by focusing on slippage experiments. A proper tradeoff between final robustness and sensitivity of the tactile device was identified. The experiments showed that the tactile sensor is sufficiently robust for application in artificial hands while sensitive enough for slip event detection. The sensor signals were elaborated with the cumulative summation algorithm and the results showed that the SCTM system could detect a slip event with a delay from a minimum of 24.5 ms to a maximum of 44 ms in the majority of experiments fulfilling the neurophysiological requirement.
Date of Publication: April 2008