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Open AccessArticle

Design Optimisation of a Magnetic Field Based Soft Tactile Sensor

School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
Department of Aeronautics, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK
Center for Micro-BioRobotics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Viale Rinaldo Piaggio 34, 56025 Pontedera, Italy
Dyson School of Design Engineering, Imperial College London, 10 Princes Gardens, Kensington Princes Gardens, London SW7 1NA, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2017, 17(11), 2539;
Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 27 October 2017 / Accepted: 2 November 2017 / Published: 3 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tactile Sensors and Sensing)
This paper investigates the design optimisation of a magnetic field based soft tactile sensor, comprised of a magnet and Hall effect module separated by an elastomer. The aim was to minimise sensitivity of the output force with respect to the input magnetic field; this was achieved by varying the geometry and material properties. Finite element simulations determined the magnetic field and structural behaviour under load. Genetic programming produced phenomenological expressions describing these responses. Optimisation studies constrained by a measurable force and stable loading conditions were conducted; these produced Pareto sets of designs from which the optimal sensor characteristics were selected. The optimisation demonstrated a compromise between sensitivity and the measurable force, a fabricated version of the optimised sensor validated the improvements made using this methodology. The approach presented can be applied in general for optimising soft tactile sensor designs over a range of applications and sensing modes. View Full-Text
Keywords: tactile sensing; sensitivity; optimisation; magnetic fields; force measurement tactile sensing; sensitivity; optimisation; magnetic fields; force measurement
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Boer, G.; Raske, N.; Wang, H.; Kow, J.; Alazmani, A.; Ghajari, M.; Culmer, P.; Hewson, R. Design Optimisation of a Magnetic Field Based Soft Tactile Sensor. Sensors 2017, 17, 2539.

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