Friday, June 03, 2005

Feelers for insect robots

Research scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF in Magdeburg and the University of Bielefeld have developed a touch-sensor incorporating the principle [of insect feelers]. It delivers more information about its environment than conventional touch-sensors and is more robust and less expensive than optical measurement techniques which use cameras.

Insect with feelers

Two motors move the sensor-rod in an oval-shaped circular path, with an acceleration sensor on its freely oscillating tip. Unlike conventional touch-sensors which only react to pressure on the tip, the feeler can be used as a sensor along the whole of its length.

Depending on the point at which the feeler touches an object – perhaps in the middle or in the front third – the sensor measures a different oscillation frequency at the tip.

Feelers for insect robots


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