Tactile sensing is one of the key missing technologies for humanoid robots to interact safely in everyday environments. We are investigating various technologies with the aim of constructing a full-fledged robotic skin that includes seamless integration of sensing, wiring and processing. The realization of a robotic skin is made complicated by the necessity of covering a wide area, conforming to the shape of the body while standing considerable mechanical stresses (including impacts). Data have to be collected from this distributed network of sensors and made available at various levels of processing for reactive control and planning. Further, tactile data have to be combined with other modalities like proprioception and force/torque measurement. Our current solutions are based on capacitive and piezoelectric sensing both at the millimeter and micrometer scale (VLSI).
Related project: Roboskin
|Prototype of the robotic skin built on flexiblePCB technology and using capacitive sensors [patented]||Fingertips for the iCub based on capacitive sensing|
|Prototype of the robotic skin built on flexiblePCB technology showing the absence of external wires and component allocation [patented]||POSFET: the combination of piezoelectric polymers with FET directly on chip. Each sensing element here is in the range of 1mm|
Dahiya, R. S., Metta, G., Sandini, G., Valle, M., Lorenzelli, L., Adami, A., Collini, C. Improvements of tactile sensor devices, based on integration of a piezoelectric transducer film and a local signal conditioning FET transistor Patent Application n. TO2009A000269 .
Sandini, G., Maggiali, M., Cannata, G., Metta, G. Tactile sensor arrangement and corresponding sensory system Patent international application n. WO2009060366. References:
A. Schmitz, M. Maggiali, M. Randazzo, L. Natale, G. Metta. A Prototype Fingertip with High Spatial Resolution Pressure Sensing for the Robot iCub. In IEEE 8th International Conference on Humanoid Robots. December 1-3, 2008, Daejeon, Korea .
M. Maggiali, G. Cannata, P. Maiolino, G. Metta, M. Randazzo, G. Sandini. Embedded Distributed Capacitive Tactile Sensor. In Mechatronics 2008, June 23-25, 2008. University of Limerick, Ireland.
R.S. Dahiya, G. Metta, M. Valle, G. Sandini. Tactile Sensing: From Humans to Humanoids. To appear in IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 2009.