Using a flexible substrate to enhance the sensitivity of Dielectric Elastomer force sensors

Article


Zhu, Yuting and Tairych, Andreas. 2021. "Using a flexible substrate to enhance the sensitivity of Dielectric Elastomer force sensors." Sensors and Actuators A: Physical. 332 (Part 2). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sna.2021.113167
Article Title

Using a flexible substrate to enhance the sensitivity of Dielectric Elastomer force sensors

ERA Journal ID4508
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsZhu, Yuting and Tairych, Andreas
Journal TitleSensors and Actuators A: Physical
Journal Citation332 (Part 2)
Article Number113167
Number of Pages9
Year01 Dec 2021
PublisherElsevier
Place of PublicationNetherlands
ISSN0924-4247
1873-3069
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sna.2021.113167
Web Address (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924424721006300
Abstract

The application of a force sensor in a robotic gripper is essential as it can provide feedback in the control of the grasping force. This paper examined a way to increase the sensitivity of dielectric elastomer force sensors by adding a flexible substrate and demonstrated how the finite element method (FEM) could be used for identifying the optimum substrate thickness. A capacitive force sensor with a substrate made from liquid silicone rubber (LSR) is studied here. The influence of the contact mechanics and the effect of substrate thickness on the sensitivity of these capacitive sensors were studied. Substrates of different thicknesses were also investigated with a compressive force up to 10 N. Different indenters in spherical shapes made from metal and fruits to mimic the objects being grasped by the gripper were used in this study. This study shows that for forces up to 10 N, a substrate thickness of 5 mm led to an optimum sensitivity, irrespective of the indenter type.

KeywordsDielectric elastomer capacitive sensor; Substrate; Compression; Pressure; Force; Robotic gripper
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020400303. Biomechanical engineering
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Auckland, New Zealand
StretchSense, New Zealand
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