Tactile displays move forward. Can a full-body system be far behind?


02 Oct
02Oct

Harshal A. Sonar, Aaron P. Gerratt, Stéphanie P. Lacour, and Jamie Paik report on their research on a new method tactile display.

Published 23 Sep 2019

In this article, we achieve a closed-loop control over haptic feedback, first time for an entirely soft platform. We prototyped a novel self-sensing soft pneumatic actuator (SPA) with soft strain sensors, called SPA-skin, which withstands large multiaxial strains and is capable of high-frequency sensing and actuation. To close-loop control the haptic feedback, the platform requires a cohesively integrated system. Our system consists of a stretchable low profile (<500 μm) SPA and an ultra-compliant thin-metal film strain sensor that create a novel bidirectional platform for tactile sensing via force-tunable vibratory feedback. With this prototype, we demonstrated control of the actuator shape in real time up to 100 Hz at output forces up to 1 N, maintained under variable mechanical loadings. We further characterized the SPA-skin platform for its static and dynamic behavior over a range of actuation amplitudes and frequencies as well as developed an analytical model of this system to predict the actuator inflation state only using the embedded sensor's resistance. Our SPA-skin is a multifunctional multilayer system that can readily be implemented as a high-speed wearable bidirectional interface for contact sensing and vibrotactile feedback.

More info here: https://actu.epfl.ch/news/artificial-skin-could-help-rehabilitation-and-en-3/

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