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Sensors 2017, 17(12), 2846; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17122846

Evaluation of Pressure Capacitive Sensors for Application in Grasping and Manipulation Analysis

1
Unit of Biomedical Robotics and Biomicrosystems, University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, via Alvaro del Portillo 21, 00128 Rome, Italy
2
Unit of Measurements and Biomedical Instrumentation, University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, via Alvaro del Portillo 21, 00128 Rome, Italy
3
Centro Protesi INAIL, Via Rabuina 14, 40054 Budrio (BO), Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 October 2017 / Revised: 16 November 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Force and Pressure Based Sensing Medical Application)
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Abstract

The analysis of the human grasping and manipulation capabilities is paramount for investigating human sensory-motor control and developing prosthetic and robotic hands resembling the human ones. A viable solution to perform this analysis is to develop instrumented objects measuring the interaction forces with the hand. In this context, the performance of the sensors embedded in the objects is crucial. This paper focuses on the experimental characterization of a class of capacitive pressure sensors suitable for biomechanical analysis. The analysis was performed in three loading conditions (Distributed load, 9 Tips load, and Wave-shaped load, thanks to three different inter-elements) via a traction/compression testing machine. Sensor assessment was also carried out under human- like grasping condition by placing a silicon material with the same properties of prosthetic cosmetic gloves in between the sensor and the inter-element in order to simulate the human skin. Data show that the input–output relationship of the analyzed, sensor is strongly influenced by both the loading condition (i.e., type of inter-element) and the grasping condition (with or without the silicon material). This needs to be taken into account to avoid significant measurement error. To go over this hurdle, the sensors have to be calibrated under each specific condition in order to apply suitable corrections to the sensor output and significantly improve the measurement accuracy. View Full-Text
Keywords: capacitive pressure sensor; sensor characterization; grasping and manipulation analysis capacitive pressure sensor; sensor characterization; grasping and manipulation analysis
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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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Pessia, P.; Cordella, F.; Schena, E.; Davalli, A.; Sacchetti, R.; Zollo, L. Evaluation of Pressure Capacitive Sensors for Application in Grasping and Manipulation Analysis. Sensors 2017, 17, 2846.

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