SBIR Phase I: Biomimetic Tactile Sensing for Industrial Robots

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$100,000.00
Award Year:
2009
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
0912260
Award Id:
91013
Agency Tracking Number:
0912260
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
1642 Camino Lindo, South Pasadena, CA, 91030
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
827484929
Principal Investigator:
NicholasWettels
MS
(213) 477-0710
nick.wettels@syntouchllc.com
Business Contact:
NicholasWettels
MS
(213) 477-0710
nick.wettels@syntouchllc.com
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
This Small Business Innovative Research Phase I project is to develop a novel biomimetic technology for tactile sensing in which all sensors, connections and circuitry are protected from hostile environments. This project will refine existing designs into commercial products and it will test the transduction properties of the sensors and integrate them with signal processing electronics into self-contained modules. The immediate goal of the proposed research is to facilitate the production of customized tactile sensing arrays that can be incorporated onto mechatronic manipulanda of industrial robots. The research will include design, production engineering, prototype manufacturing and testing to achieve and demonstrate the sensitivity, dynamic range and durability required to perform as an industrial sensor. The results of the preliminary work show the ability of the technology to detect forces in the physiological range of a human finger, and to detect vibrations consistent with slip. Testing the sensitivity will be one key component of the research. The broader impacts and commercial potential of the proposed activities will be the development of a critical capability that will enable robots to interact with the physical world outside of rigid assembly-line environments. Importantly, the designs, materials and fabrication methods of the tactile sensors developed herein shall be suitable to support mass production and field servicing for robots involved in manufacturing of a wide range of goods. Commercial robots could have diverse and dramatic impact on society in manufacturing and service industries by automating repetitive tasks. Robots with tactile feedback will be able to identify and manipulate a wide range of objects. Telerobots with such sensors would offer benefits to society by reducing the need for people to work directly in dangerous environments. This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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