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A method is proposed to estimate the friction coefficient between a planar surface and an elastic finger-shaped sensor by only pressing a sensor against the surface of an object. The contact condition between a planar surface and a half-cylindrical finger is considered, using finite-element analysis. The deformation of the elastic finger, contact forces, and strain distribution inside the elastic finger are calculated for various friction coefficients between the finger and the surface. Results show that the shear strain differs when the friction coefficient differs. In addition, in this paper, an elastic finger-shaped sensor made of silicone rubber is designed and constructed. In an experiment using this newly designed sensor, the friction coefficient between the finger and the planar surface is estimated using the strain inside the finger.
Date of Publication: April 2004