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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Multi-Point Contacts during Object Contour Scanning Using a Biologically-Inspired Tactile Sensor

1
Technical Mechanics Group, Technische Universität Ilmenau, 98693 Ilmenau, Germany
2
Institute for Process Measurement and Sensor Technology, Technische Universität Ilmenau, 98693 Ilmenau, Germany
3
Section of Mechanical Engineering, Pontificial Catholic University of Peru, Lima 15088, Peru
4
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences, 98574 Schmalkalden, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(7), 2077; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20072077
Received: 18 March 2020 / Revised: 3 April 2020 / Accepted: 4 April 2020 / Published: 7 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tactile Sensors for Robotic Applications)
Vibrissae are an important tactile sense organ of many mammals, in particular rodents like rats and mice. For instance, these animals use them in order to detect different object features, e.g., object-distances and -shapes. In engineering, vibrissae have long been established as a natural paragon for developing tactile sensors. So far, having object shape scanning and reconstruction in mind, almost all mechanical vibrissa models are restricted to contact scenarios with a single discrete contact force. Here, we deal with the effect of multi-point contacts in a specific scanning scenario, where an artificial vibrissa is swept along partly concave object contours. The vibrissa is modeled as a cylindrical, one-sided clamped Euler-Bernoulli bending rod undergoing large deflections. The elasticae and the support reactions during scanning are theoretically calculated and measured in experiments, using a spring steel wire, attached to a force/torque-sensor. The experiments validate the simulation results and show that the assumption of a quasi-static scanning displacement is a satisfying approach. Beyond single- and two-point contacts, a distinction is made between tip and tangential contacts. It is shown that, in theory, these contact phases can be identified solely based on the support reactions, what is new in literature. In this way, multipoint contacts are reliably detected and filtered in order to discard incorrectly reconstructed contact points. View Full-Text
Keywords: vibrissa; bio-inspired sensor; contour scanning; multi-point contact vibrissa; bio-inspired sensor; contour scanning; multi-point contact
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MDPI and ACS Style

Merker, L.; Fischer Calderon, S.J.; Scharff, M.; Alencastre Miranda, J.H.; Behn, C. Effects of Multi-Point Contacts during Object Contour Scanning Using a Biologically-Inspired Tactile Sensor. Sensors 2020, 20, 2077. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20072077

AMA Style

Merker L, Fischer Calderon SJ, Scharff M, Alencastre Miranda JH, Behn C. Effects of Multi-Point Contacts during Object Contour Scanning Using a Biologically-Inspired Tactile Sensor. Sensors. 2020; 20(7):2077. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20072077

Chicago/Turabian Style

Merker, Lukas; Fischer Calderon, Sebastian J.; Scharff, Moritz; Alencastre Miranda, Jorge H.; Behn, Carsten. 2020. "Effects of Multi-Point Contacts during Object Contour Scanning Using a Biologically-Inspired Tactile Sensor" Sensors 20, no. 7: 2077. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20072077

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