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A2-piece six-axis force/torque sensor capable of measuring loads applied to tools of complex shapes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781728140049
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
Event2019 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2019 - Macau, China
Duration: 3 Nov 20198 Nov 2019

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
ISSN (Print)2153-0858
ISSN (Electronic)2153-0866


Conference2019 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2019

King's Authors


Measuring forces and torques applied to tools of unconventional shapes can be challenging due to difficulties in connecting commercially available force/torque sensors. We propose an innovative, customizable six-axis force/torque sensor which can be clamped around a tool or end-effector to minimize the proximity between tool tip and sensor structure. The sensor is fabricated using 3d printing technology and consists of two pieces which together form an 8-legged Stewart platform. Each leg is designed as a cantilever beam to allow for a measurable displacement under an external load. The displacements of the legs are measured with 8 light intensity-based optoelectronic sensors, which exhibit high sensitivities and low noise levels without the need for external amplification circuitry. A customized printed circuit board and peripheral hardware are proposed to allow for efficient analog-to-digital conversion of the force/torque measurement. A calibration process is proposed which makes use ofa commercial ATI Mini40 sensor and custom hardware to allow for fast calibration routines. Finally, the calibrated sensor design is compared to the ATI Mini40 sensor by measuring sequences of forces and torques, and the maximum errors of force/torque components (F-{x},\ F-{y},\ F-{\mathrm{z}},\ M-{x},\ M-{y},\ M-{\mathrm{z}}) are 16.3%, 20.0%, 27.5%, 20.5%, 21.6%, 14.9% respectively.

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