Skip to Main Content
Force sensing is an essential requirement for dexterous robot manipulation. We describe composite robot end-effectors that incorporate optical fibers for accurate force sensing and estimation of contact locations. The design is inspired by the sensors in arthropod exoskeletons that allow them to detect contacts and loads on their limbs. In this paper, we present a fabrication process that allows us to create hollow multimaterial structures with embedded fibers and the results of experiments to characterize the sensors and controlling contact forces in a system involving an industrial robot and a two-fingered dexterous hand. We also briefly describe the optical-interrogation method used to measure multiple sensors along a single fiber at kilohertz rates for closed-loop force control.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2009