Tessa Pannen, 2020
When we build soft robotic grippers, we take inspiration from the compliance and softness of the human hand. But what makes the human hand one of the most powerful tools is its sense of touch. Since the sensors established in rigid robotics are not applicable to soft actuators, we need to look at new materials and new fabrication methods. In this paper, we want to present a way to introduce tactile sensors into a soft actuator without limiting its dexterity, using the RBO Hand 3 actuator as an example.
The sensor is made of piezoresistive fabric and a custom flexible printed circuit board. It can measure pressure continuously along 15 independent taxa (tactile pixels), giving us information about the location and intensity of an applied pressure. We will highlight the features of the sensor and discuss possible applications.