Haptic Devices: Sensorized Thimble uses FlexiForce

Researchers developed a small, light-weight, force sensor equipped haptic device which can easily be maneuvered by the user and encourages “natural exploration” of objects.

Haptic Interface Force Sensing

Background: In a haptic interface, the human subject interacts with a virtual display which he or she can modify based on visual, tactile, or kinesthetic feedback. In haptics applications, a properly-fitting mechanism is required to allow the user to push, squeeze, or grasp an object.

Challenge: Developing a small, light-weight, force-sensing equipped device which can easily be maneuvered by the user and which will encourage “natural exploration” of objects.

Solution: Researchers at Universidad Politecnica de Madrid integrated FlexiForce™ force sensors into a lightweight (8 grams) thimble device, which fits over the user’s fingers. The geometry of the device is quite similar to the human finger. Due to its construction, it provides more freedom and natural exploration of objects than some traditional haptic end effectors. FlexiForce sensors are used to estimate the forces exerted by the user during various manipulations. FlexiForce was selected due to its thinness (0.2mm), light weight, and performance specifications, particularly its repeatability, which is ± 2.5%.
CAD drawing and subsequent prototype of haptic thimble developed at Universidad Politecnica de Madrid. Components 1-4 are Tekscan's FlexiForce Sensors

Benefits of FlexiForce™ Sensors

  • Ultra-thin sensor construction and flexibility means minimal interference/disturbance to normal action
  • Accurate response gives your customers and end users confidence in the performance of your product
  • Knowledgeable, experienced technical staff help you develop the most effective, economical sensor based on your specific requirements. All manufacturing takes place at ISO 9001 compliant & 13485 registered Tekscan headquarters.
  • 100% factory inspection ensures your sensors meet established performance specifications

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