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Sensors 2014, 14(3), 3861-3870; doi:10.3390/s140303861
Article

Intrinsic Embedded Sensors for Polymeric Mechatronics: Flexure and Force Sensing

1,* , 2
,
3
 and
1
1 Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA 2 Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science, New Haven, CT 06511, USA 3 Formerly with the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 December 2013 / Revised: 12 February 2014 / Accepted: 19 February 2014 / Published: 25 February 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tactile Sensors and Sensing Systems)
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Abstract

While polymeric fabrication processes, including recent advances in additive manufacturing, have revolutionized manufacturing, little work has been done on effective sensing elements compatible with and embedded within polymeric structures. In this paper, we describe the development and evaluation of two important sensing modalities for embedding in polymeric mechatronic and robotic mechanisms: multi-axis flexure joint angle sensing utilizing IR phototransistors, and a small (12 mm), three-axis force sensing via embedded silicon strain gages with similar performance characteristics as an equally sized metal element based sensor.
Keywords: sensors; embedded; polymer; robotic; shape deposition manufacturing; rapid prototyping sensors; embedded; polymer; robotic; shape deposition manufacturing; rapid prototyping
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Jentoft, L.P.; Dollar, A.M.; Wagner, C.R.; Howe, R.D. Intrinsic Embedded Sensors for Polymeric Mechatronics: Flexure and Force Sensing. Sensors 2014, 14, 3861-3870.

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