Skinning a robot: Design methodologies for large-scale robot skin

Perla Maiolino, Fulvio Mastrogiovanni, Giorgio Cannata. IEEE RAM 2016

In collaboration with University of Genova

Abstract Providing a robot with large-scale tactile-sensing capabilities requires the use of design tools, bridging the gap between user requirements and technical solutions. Given a set of functional requirements (e.g., minimum spatial sensitivity or minimum detectable force), two prerequisites must be considered: 1) the capability of the chosen tactile technology to satisfy these requirements from a technical standpoint and 2) the ability of the customization process to find a tradeoff among different design parameters, such as (in case of robot skins based on the capacitive principle) dielectric thickness, diameter of sensing points, and weight. The contribution of this article is twofold: 1) a description of the possibilities offered by a design toolbox for large-scale robot skin based on finite element analysis and optimization principles, which provides a designer with insights and alternative choices to obtain a given tactile performance according to the scenario at hand and 2) a discussion about the intrinsic limitations in simulating robot skin.

Skinning a robot: Design methodologies for large-scale robot skin