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Sensors 2017, 17(10), 2337;

Fingertip Fiber Optical Tactile Array with Two-Level Spring Structure

Advanced Robotics @ Queen Mary (ARQ), Faculty of Science and Engineering, Queen Mary University of London, London E1 4NS, UK
Centre for Medical Imaging Computing, University College of London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 September 2017 / Revised: 2 October 2017 / Accepted: 10 October 2017 / Published: 13 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tactile Sensors and Sensing)
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Tactile perception is a feature benefiting reliable grasping and manipulation. This paper presents the design of an integrated fingertip force sensor employing an optical fiber based approach where applied forces modulate light intensity. The proposed sensor system is developed to support grasping of a broad range of objects, including those that are hard as well those that are soft. The sensor system is comprised of four sensing elements forming a tactile array integrated with the tip of a finger. We investigate the design configuration of a separate force sensing element with the aim to improve its measurement range. The force measurement of a single tactile element is based on a two-level displacement that is achieved thanks to a hybrid sensing structure made up of a stiff linear and flexible ortho-planar spring. An important outcome of this paper is a miniature tactile fingertip sensor that is capable of perceiving light contact, typically occurring during the initial stages of a grasp, as well as measuring higher forces, commonly present during tight grasps. View Full-Text
Keywords: tactile sensing; force sensing; grasping tactile sensing; force sensing; grasping

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Konstantinova, J.; Stilli, A.; Althoefer, K. Fingertip Fiber Optical Tactile Array with Two-Level Spring Structure. Sensors 2017, 17, 2337.

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