What image does the word “robot” conjure up for you? Do you envision a metallic machine? Robots are adaptable machines, demonstrated by the enormous range of their forms and capabilities. Fortunately, it appears more likely that robots would focus on performing dangerous or repetitive duties rather than acquiring absolute executive control. Let’s examine robotics and its tactile sensors.

Tactile sensors in robots

Tactile sensors in robots

An instrument known as a tactile sensor detects the forces produced by physical interactions with the environment. Humans model their sense of touch after the biological sensation of touch that is triggered by mechanical compression and stimulation of the body and skin. Single touch sensors detect various details like the shape, size, and texture of an object during contact with its surface, and they then send an electronic signal to a nearby controller. The controller then gauges the object’s actual dimensions, form, and weight.

Tactile Sensor Types

Force/Torque Sensor

In order to provide the input for force control, force/torque sensors are employed in conjunction with a tactile array. These kinds of sensors have the same range of load sensing as a skin sensor and the proximal link of a manipulator.

Dynamic Sensor

Smaller accelerometers known as dynamic sensors are located on the robotic finger’s skin or on the finger strips. One or two skin accelerometers are sufficient for a whole finger because the overall function is similar to that of human Pacinian corpuscles and they have correspondingly large respective fields.

Heating Sensor

Although certain thermal sensors are utilized in robotics and are crucial to the human ability to determine the elements of the objects manufactured. The process of thermal sensing entails finding heat variations and gradients in the skin that correlate to an object’s temperature and thermal conductivity.

Uses of tactile sensors

Tactile sensors are frequently used in robotic fingers and hands. Robots need sensory equipment that is functionally similar to a human’s tactile capacity if they are to handle tasks that need accuracy, flexibility, or interaction with strange objects. For use with robots, tactile sensors play a major role.  When the robot starts to grasp an object, tactile sensors can supplement visual systems by adding further information. Eyesight is no longer appropriate at this point because vision alone cannot determine the mechanical characteristics of the object.

The importance of tactile sensors in robotic applications 

The fact that conventional robotic systems cannot perform approximately 95% of all manual tasks due to the dexterity and flexibility of the fingers is one of the biggest problems facing the robotics industry today. Extreme dexterity is needed to prepare a drink, fold a napkin, clean a chandelier, etc. Robots must be able to grasp objects with more dexterity and without crushing delicate objects, which requires precisely monitoring and adjusting the robot’s grasping force. Despite being trustworthy sensors for measuring force, load cells have typically been constrained by their heavy design.