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Sensors 2016, 16(11), 1936; doi:10.3390/s16111936

Multi-Axis Force/Torque Sensor Based on Simply-Supported Beam and Optoelectronics

1
Department of Informatics, King’s College London, London WC2R 2LS, UK
2
Department of Biomedical Engineering, King’s College London, London SE1 7EH, UK
3
Instituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Genova 16163, Italy
4
Department of Aeronautics, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
5
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University College London, London WC1E 7JE, UK
6
Industrial Research Institute for Automation and Measurements, Warsaw 02-486, Poland
7
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Katubadda, Moratuwa 10400, Sri Lanka
8
ARQ—Advanced Robotics @ Queen Mary Faculty of Science and Engineering Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Rd, London E1 4NS, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Received: 28 July 2016 / Revised: 26 October 2016 / Accepted: 27 October 2016 / Published: 17 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)

Abstract

This paper presents a multi-axis force/torque sensor based on simply-supported beam and optoelectronic technology. The sensor’s main advantages are: (1) Low power consumption; (2) low-level noise in comparison with conventional methods of force sensing (e.g., using strain gauges); (3) the ability to be embedded into different mechanical structures; (4) miniaturisation; (5) simple manufacture and customisation to fit a wide-range of robot systems; and (6) low-cost fabrication and assembly of sensor structure. For these reasons, the proposed multi-axis force/torque sensor can be used in a wide range of application areas including medical robotics, manufacturing, and areas involving human–robot interaction. This paper shows the application of our concept of a force/torque sensor to flexible continuum manipulators: A cylindrical MIS (Minimally Invasive Surgery) robot, and includes its design, fabrication, and evaluation tests. View Full-Text
Keywords: force/torque sensor; multi-axis force/torque; optoelectronic sensors; light intensity optics force/torque sensor; multi-axis force/torque; optoelectronic sensors; light intensity optics
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Noh, Y.; Bimbo, J.; Sareh, S.; Wurdemann, H.; Fraś, J.; Chathuranga, D.S.; Liu, H.; Housden, J.; Althoefer, K.; Rhode, K. Multi-Axis Force/Torque Sensor Based on Simply-Supported Beam and Optoelectronics. Sensors 2016, 16, 1936.

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