Composite force sensing foot utilizing volumetric displacement of a hyperelastic polymer
Author(s)Chuah, Meng Yee (Meng Yee Michael)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
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In this thesis, I will describe the fabrication and characterization of a footpad based on an original principle of volumetric displacement sensing. It is intended for use in detecting ground contact forces in a running quadrupedal robot. The footpad is man- ufactured as a monolithic, composite structure composed of multi-graded polymers which are reinforced by glass fiber to increase durability and traction. The volumetric displacement sensing principle utilizes a hyperelastic gel-like pad with embedded magnets that are tracked with Hall-effect sensors. Normal and shear forces can be detected as contact with the ground which causes the gel-like pad to deform into rigid wells. This is all done without the need to expose the sensor. A one-time training process using an artificial neural network was used to relate the normal and shear forces with the volumetric displacement sensor output. The sensor was shown to pre- dict normal forces in the Z-axis up to 80N with a root mean squared error of 6.04% as well as the onset of shear in the X and Y-axis. This demonstrates a proof-of-concept for a more robust footpad sensor suitable for use in all outdoor conditions.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2012.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 65-67).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology