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Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1588;

Tactile Estimation of Molded Plastic Plates Based on the Estimated Impulse Responses of Mechanoreceptive Units

Graduate School of Science for Open and Environmental Systems, Keio University, Yokohama 223-8522, Japan
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Keio University, Yokohama 223-8522, Japan
Kato Tech Co., Ltd., Kyoto 601-8447, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 April 2018 / Revised: 9 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 16 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tactile Sensors and Applications)
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This study proposes a tactile estimation method of molded plastic plates based on human tactile perception characteristics. Plastic plates are often used in consumer products. The tactile evaluation plays an important role in product development. However, physical quantities not taking into account human tactile perception have been employed in previous tactile estimation procedures. Hence, in this study, we adopted the vibrational thresholds of the mechanoreceptive units—FA I, FA II, SA I and SA II—for stimuli detection and developed a tactile estimation method for plastic plates that clarified the mechanoreceptive units related to tactile sensation. The developed tactile sensor consists of a base and a silicone rubber pad that contains strain gauges in it. We detected vibration during touch by the sensor and calculated the estimation of the firing values of the cutaneous mechanoreceptors, which are the essential data obtained by humans during tactile perception, in comparison to the amplitude spectrum of the vibration with the threshold amplitude of each mechanoreceptive unit. Simultaneously, we calculated the relationship between the normal and tangential forces recorded while the sensor ran over the samples. As a result of stepwise linear regression analysis using these values as explanatory variables, the evaluation scores for Soft were successfully estimated using the firing value of FA II and the relationship between normal/tangential forces, and the evaluation scores for Rough were estimated using the SA I firing value. View Full-Text
Keywords: tactile sensor; human tactile perception; mechanoreceptive units; sensory evaluation tactile sensor; human tactile perception; mechanoreceptive units; sensory evaluation

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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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Nobuyama, L.; Kurashina, Y.; Kawauchi, K.; Matsui, K.; Takemura, K. Tactile Estimation of Molded Plastic Plates Based on the Estimated Impulse Responses of Mechanoreceptive Units. Sensors 2018, 18, 1588.

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