Georgia Tech inventors have developed a contact force sensor based on a custom elastomer dome with a tailored air cavity adhered to a barometric pressure sensor. In particular, the shape of the rubber enclosure surrounding the pressure sensor is controlled in order to achieve a desired force vs. pressure signal for the sensor. An air bubble is engineered between the rubber encapsulating the pressure sensor chip (and board) which changes shape and ultimately collapses as the force is applied to the sensor. The shape and collapse of that bubble, along with the entire structure of the rubber encapsulating the pressure sensor, govern the force vs. pressure behavior of the sensor. Similarly, the structure of the encapsulation allows the sensors to withstand inertial effects. As a result, they are suitable for any contact sensing in which the object is also undergoing dynamic movements.
- Controllable design for tunable force response
- Force and pressure sensor characteristics can be easily tailored
- Protected pressure sensor from high forces and pressures
- Suited for contact sensing where the object undergoes dynamic movement
- Robust Contact Sensing
- Articulated robotic appendages
Ground contact and force detection sensors are of critical technical importance in the realization of all manners of robots capable of locomotion and interaction with the environment. Requirements for field deployed sensors include ease of manufacture, durability, and consistency over time. Current force and contact sensors are cost prohibitive, unreliable, require training throughout time, are susceptible to inertial loads, or the sensing range is unsuitable for the application.