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Development of Direct-printed Tactile Sensors for Gripper Control through Contact and Slip Detection

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This work demonstrates the use of printed tactile sensors for detection of contact location and slip in a robot gripper. Research and development of robots for behaviors similar to those of humans are being conducted by many institutions. For these robot systems, flexible tactile sensors imitating human tactile senses have been developed and applied to robots. The sensors used in this work were fabricated through a direct-print process using a multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT)/polymer composite. These sensors are a resistance type and were characterized by detecting changes in resistance of MWCNT networks within the composite in response to external forces. With tactile sensors attached to gripper fingers, signals generated when the gripper grasped objects were analyzed and the resulting information was used for robot gripper control.

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Correspondence to Suk Lee.

Additional information

Recommended by Associate Editor Huaping Liu under the direction of Editor Fuchun Sun. This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education(NRF-2016R1A6A3A11931489).

Ju-Kyoung Lee is a Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical Engineering at the Pusan National University, Busan, Korea. His research interests are industrial network and robotics, sensor network and signal processing, and 3D printed tactile sensors and their applications.

Hyun-Hee Kim received her Ph.D. degree from Pusan National University, Busan, Korea, in 2010. She is a Research Fellow in the Department of Control and Instrumentation Engineering, Pukyong National University, Busan, Korea. Her research interests are industrial networks, home networks, wireless networks, and networked control systems.

Jae-Won Choi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Akron (UA). Prior to joining the UA, he spent three years for Micro/Macro Additive Manufacturing in the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). His B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees were obtained from Pusan National University (PNU) in South Korea, in 1999, 2001, and 2007, respectively. His research interests include advanced additive manufacturing, 3D printing of smart structures, low-cost 3D metal printing, and bio fabrication.

Kyung-Chang Lee received his Ph.D. degree from Pusan National University, Busan, Korea, in 2003. He is a professor in the Department of Control and Instrumentation Engineering, Pukyong National University, Busan, Korea. His research interests are embedded network system, industrial network, robotic network, invehicle network, home network, wireless sensor network, and networked control system.

Suk Lee received his Ph.D. degree from The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, in 1990. He is a professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering, Pusan National University, Busan, Korea. His research interests are industrial network, in-vehicle network, and home network.

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Lee, JK., Kim, HH., Choi, JW. et al. Development of Direct-printed Tactile Sensors for Gripper Control through Contact and Slip Detection. Int. J. Control Autom. Syst. 16, 929–936 (2018).

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  • Direct-print
  • multi-walled carbon nanotube
  • robot gripper
  • signal processing
  • slip detection
  • tactile sensor