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Sensors 2016, 16(9), 1356; doi:10.3390/s16091356

Design Methodology for Magnetic Field-Based Soft Tri-Axis Tactile Sensors

1
School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
2
Department of Aeronautics, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
3
Dyson School of Design Engineering, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andreas Hütten
Received: 20 June 2016 / Revised: 2 August 2016 / Accepted: 17 August 2016 / Published: 24 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [7972 KB, uploaded 26 August 2016]   |  

Abstract

Tactile sensors are essential if robots are to safely interact with the external world and to dexterously manipulate objects. Current tactile sensors have limitations restricting their use, notably being too fragile or having limited performance. Magnetic field-based soft tactile sensors offer a potential improvement, being durable, low cost, accurate and high bandwidth, but they are relatively undeveloped because of the complexities involved in design and calibration. This paper presents a general design methodology for magnetic field-based three-axis soft tactile sensors, enabling researchers to easily develop specific tactile sensors for a variety of applications. All aspects (design, fabrication, calibration and evaluation) of the development of tri-axis soft tactile sensors are presented and discussed. A moving least square approach is used to decouple and convert the magnetic field signal to force output to eliminate non-linearity and cross-talk effects. A case study of a tactile sensor prototype, MagOne, was developed. This achieved a resolution of 1.42 mN in normal force measurement (0.71 mN in shear force), good output repeatability and has a maximum hysteresis error of 3.4%. These results outperform comparable sensors reported previously, highlighting the efficacy of our methodology for sensor design. View Full-Text
Keywords: tactile sensors; soft sensing; force sensors; Hall effect sensor; magnetic field; hyperelastic elastomer; silicone rubber; moving least square; calibration; design methodology tactile sensors; soft sensing; force sensors; Hall effect sensor; magnetic field; hyperelastic elastomer; silicone rubber; moving least square; calibration; design methodology
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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

Wang, H.; de Boer, G.; Kow, J.; Alazmani, A.; Ghajari, M.; Hewson, R.; Culmer, P. Design Methodology for Magnetic Field-Based Soft Tri-Axis Tactile Sensors. Sensors 2016, 16, 1356.

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