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Low-cost piezoresistive sensors can be of great interest in robotic applications due not only to their advantageous cost but to their dimension as well, which enables an advanced mechanical integration. In this paper, a comparison of two commercial piezoresistive sensors based on different technologies is performed in the case of a medical robotics application. The existence of significant nonlinearities in their dynamic behavior is demonstrated, and a nonlinear modeling is proposed. A compensation scheme is developed for the sensor with the largest nonlinearities before discussing the selection of a sensor for dynamic applications. It is shown that force control is achievable with these kinds of sensors, in spite of their drawbacks. Experiments with both types of sensors are presented, including force control with a medical robot.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2011