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Proceedings Paper

Piezoresistive pressure sensor array for robotic skin
Author(s): Fahad Mirza; Ritvij R. Sahasrabuddhe; Joshua R. Baptist; Muthu B. J. Wijesundara; Woo H. Lee; Dan O. Popa
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Paper Abstract

Robots are starting to transition from the confines of the manufacturing floor to homes, schools, hospitals, and highly dynamic environments. As, a result, it is impossible to foresee all the probable operational situations of robots, and preprogram the robot behavior in those situations. Among human-robot interaction technologies, haptic communication is an intuitive physical interaction method that can help define operational behaviors for robots cooperating with humans. Multimodal robotic skin with distributed sensors can help robots increase perception capabilities of their surrounding environments.

Electro-Hydro-Dynamic (EHD) printing is a flexible multi-modal sensor fabrication method because of its direct printing capability of a wide range of materials onto substrates with non-uniform topographies. In past work we designed interdigitated comb electrodes as a sensing element and printed piezoresistive strain sensors using customized EHD printable PEDOT:PSS based inks. We formulated a PEDOT:PSS derivative ink, by mixing PEDOT:PSS and DMSO. Bending induced characterization tests of prototyped sensors showed high sensitivity and sufficient stability.

In this paper, we describe SkinCells, robot skin sensor arrays integrated with electronic modules. 4x4 EHD-printed arrays of strain sensors was packaged onto Kapton sheets and silicone encapsulant and interconnected to a custom electronic module that consists of a microcontroller, Wheatstone bridge with adjustable digital potentiometer, multiplexer, and serial communication unit. Thus, SkinCell’s electronics can be used for signal acquisition, conditioning, and networking between sensor modules. Several SkinCells were loaded with controlled pressure, temperature and humidity testing apparatuses, and testing results are reported in this paper.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 May 2016
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 9859, Sensors for Next-Generation Robotics III, 98590K (13 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2225411
Show Author Affiliations
Fahad Mirza, Univ. of Texas at Arlington Research Institute (United States)
Ritvij R. Sahasrabuddhe, Univ. of Texas at Arlington Research Institute (United States)
Joshua R. Baptist, Univ. of Louisville (United States)
Muthu B. J. Wijesundara, Univ. of Texas at Arlington Research Institute (United States)
Woo H. Lee, Univ. of Texas at Arlington Research Institute (United States)
Dan O. Popa, Univ. of Louisville (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9859:
Sensors for Next-Generation Robotics III
Dan Popa; Muthu B. J. Wijesundara, Editor(s)

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