A compact two DOF magneto-elastomeric force sensor for a running quadruped

TitleA compact two DOF magneto-elastomeric force sensor for a running quadruped
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsAnanthanarayanan, A., S. Foong, and S. Kim
Conference NameRobotics and Automation (ICRA), 2012 IEEE International Conference on
Date Published05/2012
Conference LocationSaint Paul, MN
ISBN Number978-1-4673-1403-9
Accession Number12847345

This paper presents a novel design approach for a two-DOF foot force sensor for a high speed running quadruped. The adopted approach harnesses the deformation property of an elastomeric material to relate applied force to measurable deformation. A lightweight, robust and compact magnetic-field based sensing system, consisting of an assembly of miniature hall-effect sensors, is employed to infer the positional information of a magnet embedded in the elastomeric material. Instead of solving two non-linear models (magnetic field and elastomeric) sequentially, a direct approach of using artificial neural networks (ANN) is utilized to relate magnetic flux density (MFD) measurements to applied forces. The force sensor, which weighs only 24.5 gms, provides a measurement range of 0 - 1000 N normal to the ground and up to ± 125N parallel to the ground. The mean force measurement accuracy was found to be within 7% of the applied forces. The sensor designed as part of this work finds direct applications in ground reaction force sensing for a running quadrupedal robot.