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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 9, Number 6, June 2012 , pages 535-547

Flexible tactile sensor array for foot pressure mapping system in a biped robot
Cheng-Hsin Chuang, Yi-Rong Liou and Ming-Yuan Shieh

    Controlling the balance of motion in a context involving a biped robot navigating a rugged surface or a step is a difficult task. In the present study, a 3x5 flexible piezoelectric tactile sensor array is developed to provide a foot pressure map and zero moment point for a biped robot. We introduce an innovative concept involving structural electrodes on a piezoelectric film in order to improve the sensitivity. The tactile sensor consists of a polymer piezoelectric film, PVDF, between two patterned flexible print circuit substrates (FPC). Additionally, a silicon rubber bump-like structure is attached to the FPC and covered by a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) layer. Experimental results show that the output signal of the sensor exhibits a linear behavior within 0.2 N ~ 9 N, while its sensitivity is approximately 42 mV/N. According to the characteristic of the tactile sensor, the readout module is designed for an in-situ display of the pressure magnitudes and distribution within 3x5 taxels. Furthermore, the trajectory of the zero moment point (ZMP) can also be calculated by this program. Consequently, our tactile sensor module can provide the pressure map and ZMP information to the in-situ feedback to control the balance of moment for a biped robot.
Key Words
    tactile sensor; piezoelectric; foot pressure; biped robot
Cheng-Hsin Chuang and Yi-Rong Liou : Department of Mechanical Engineering & Institute of Nanotechnology, Southern Taiwan University, Tainan 71005, Taiwan
Ming-Yuan Shieh : Department of Electrical Engineering, Southern Taiwan University, Tainan 71005, Taiwan

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