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Sensors 2016, 16(12), 2001; doi:10.3390/s16122001

The Design and Characterization of a Flexible Tactile Sensing Array for Robot Skin

School of Mechanical and Electric Engineering, Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Advanced Robotics, Soochow University, Suzhou 215000, China
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Academic Editors: Hyun-Joong Chung and Tae-il Kim
Received: 12 September 2016 / Revised: 10 November 2016 / Accepted: 22 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flexible Electronics and Sensors)
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Abstract

In this study, a flexible tactile sensing array based on a capacitive mechanism was designed, fabricated, and characterized for sensitive robot skin. A device with 8 × 8 sensing units was composed of top and bottom flexible polyethyleneterephthalate (PET) substrates with copper (Cu) electrodes, a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) dielectric layer, and a bump contact layer. Four types of microstructures (i.e., pyramids and V-shape grooves) atop a PDMS dielectric layer were well-designed and fabricated to enhance tactile sensitivity. The optimal sensing unit achieved a high sensitivity of 35.9%/N in a force range of 0–1 N. By incorporating a tactile feedback control system, the flexible sensing array as the sensitive skin of a robotic manipulator demonstrated a potential capability of robotic obstacle avoidance. View Full-Text
Keywords: flexible electronics; capacitive tactile sensing array; robot skin; robotic obstacle avoidance flexible electronics; capacitive tactile sensing array; robot skin; robotic obstacle avoidance
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Ji, Z.; Zhu, H.; Liu, H.; Liu, N.; Chen, T.; Yang, Z.; Sun, L. The Design and Characterization of a Flexible Tactile Sensing Array for Robot Skin. Sensors 2016, 16, 2001.

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