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A Fabric Based Tactile Sensor for Soft Robotics

Master Thesis
Tessa Pannen

Motivation

When we build soft robotic grippers, we draw inspiration from the compliance and softness of the human hand. But what makes the human hand one of the most powerful tools is it's tactile sense. Since the sensors that are established in rigid robotics are not applicable to soft actuators, we have to take a look at new materials and new fabrication methods. In this thesis, we want to present one possible way to introduce tactile sensing to a soft actuator without restricting its dexterous behavior, using the RBO Hand 3 actuator as an example.

Description of Work

The sensor is fabricated from piezoresistive fabric and a custom flexible printed circuit board. It can measure pressure continuously along 15 independent taxels (tactile pixels) and therefore gives us information about the location and the intensity of an applied pressure. We will illuminate the properties of the sensor and discuss possible applications.

People

Tessa Pannen

Oliver Brock

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