The First IEEE/RAS-EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, 2006. BioRob 2006.
One of the greatest successes of biologically-inspired design has been the development of mechanically robust robots. One promising biomimetic fabrication technique is shape deposition manufacturing (SDM), which alternates material deposition and machining to produce robot structures with compliant joints and embedded actuation elements. In this paper, we add to the tools available to robot designers by describing the development of a range of sensing modalities. These include Hall-effect sensors for joint angle sensing, embedded strain gauges for 3 axis force measurements, optical reflectance sensors for tactile sensing, and piezoelectric polymers for contact detection. We demonstrate these sensors in the context of a simple robotic grasper using the biomimetic SDM process to simplify fabrication and produce robust sensing mechanisms