A Photoelastic Tactile Sensor to Measure Contact Pressure Distributions on Object Surfaces
Taku Nakamura, Fuminobu Kimura, and Akio Yamamoto
Department of Precision Engineering, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
This paper describes the development of a tactile sensor that measures contact pressure distribution (CPD) within a sensor probe that emulates the human fingertip. The aim of development is to provide CPDs plausible enough to be utilized in performance evaluation or parameter calibration of a tactile softness display. The developed sensor system observes twodimensional photoelasticity of the finger-shaped sensor probe in a circular polariscope setup and visualizes CPDs using online image processing. Through considerations of sensor probe design and material, the sensor visualized CPDs on various surfaces with a spatial resolution of 2 mm and up to 2 N of contact force. Experimental results demonstrate the capability of the sensor to discriminate among given soft samples by different CPDs.
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