Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

The human touch for fibre sensors

The development of fibre sensors so sensitive they can grip any object without endangering its structural integrity has been developed.
The human touch for fibre sensors
A German institute of neuroinformatics had managed to develop a new range of fibre sensors with multiple uses as tactile sensors such as robot grippers. The high sensitivity enables these sensors to measure approach, indentation speeds and minute vibrations having the added advantage that they can be combined with static sensors.

With a typical diameter of approximately 120 micrometers, the function of fibre sensors can be compared to the sensitivity of cat whiskers or to the human sense of touch. Hence when coupled between an object and a receptive sensor element, these particular fibre sensors posses extremely sensitive characteristics.

The receptive element consists of a plate capacitor with an integrated field effect transistor, whilst the upper flexible plate makes contact with the object by a fibre or fibre bundle. Further, there is no limit of measurement for vibration detection, local resolution is currently at 2 square metres and the operating voltage is just 5-25 volts (DC).

All in all, this coupling technique has resulted in some very remarkable sensor properties. This now means that almost dynamic-touch impressions can be registered. The technology has wide market applications that include telerobotics, collision detection, and surface structure and texture sensing.
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