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Sensors 2012, 12(10), 13598-13616; doi:10.3390/s121013598

A Three-Axis Force Sensor for Dual Finger Haptic Interfaces

* ,
PERCRO Laboratory, TeCIP Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Piazza Martiri della Libertà 33, Pisa 56127, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 July 2012 / Revised: 28 September 2012 / Accepted: 9 October 2012 / Published: 10 October 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Italy 2012)


In this work we present the design process, the characterization and testing of a novel three-axis mechanical force sensor. This sensor is optimized for use in closed-loop force control of haptic devices with three degrees of freedom. In particular the sensor has been conceived for integration with a dual finger haptic interface that aims at simulating forces that occur during grasping and surface exploration. The sensing spring structure has been purposely designed in order to match force and layout specifications for the application. In this paper the design of the sensor is presented, starting from an analytic model that describes the characteristic matrix of the sensor. A procedure for designing an optimal overload protection mechanism is proposed. In the last part of the paper the authors describe the experimental characterization and the integrated test on a haptic hand exoskeleton showing the improvements in the controller performances provided by the inclusion of the force sensor.
Keywords: force sensor; Maltese cross; three-axis force sensing; haptics; force feedback; haptic interface force sensor; Maltese cross; three-axis force sensing; haptics; force feedback; haptic interface
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Fontana, M.; Marcheschi, S.; Salsedo, F.; Bergamasco, M. A Three-Axis Force Sensor for Dual Finger Haptic Interfaces. Sensors 2012, 12, 13598-13616.

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