Development of High Dynamic Range Six-Axis Force Sensor with Simple Structure
Department of Electrical Engineering, Electronics, and Applied Physics, Saitama University
255 Shimo-Ohkubo, Sakura-ku, Saitama 338-8570, Japan
We propose a six-axis force sensor with a simple structure that can measure small forces while affording a high load capacity. For a robot to perform complex motions in an unknown environment, the force sensor used must exhibit a high resolution and high load rating. Various studies have been conducted to simultaneously satisfy these two requirements. However, the high processing cost due to the complicated sensor structure is problematic. Therefore, we develop a column-type high dynamic range (HDR) six-axis force sensor using two types of strain gauges. The sensor was composed of a drawn pipe to solve structural problems that arise during manufacturing. By attaching strain gauges to the surface of the drawn pipe, the forces and torques in the six axes can be measured. HDR measurement was realizable using a semiconductor strain gauge for small loads and a metallic foil strain gauge for large loads. Based on the simulation results, the rated loads of the sensor were 1400 N in the Fx and Fy directions, 9000 N in the Fz direction, and 120 Nm in the Mx, My, and Mz directions. The performance of the fabricated force sensor was evaluated. The maximum nonlinearity errors of the semiconductor strain gauge and the metallic foil strain gauges were 1.21% and 1.81%, respectively. In addition, when comparing the S/N ratios, the minimum measurable values were 0.035 N and 0.13 N for Fy and Fz, respectively.
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