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Title: Glabrous skin structures for tactile end effector design
Author: Chorley, Craig Stephen
Awarding Body: University of the West of England, Bristol
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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Unique to the sense of touch is that it is created through physical interaction. Through exploring the world with our skin we discover its properties, its shape, textures and materials, allowing us to meaningfully interact with it. This places great emphasis on the mechanical properties of our skin, the organ of touch, and no more so than the 'glabrous' skin of the finger pads and palms of our hands. Through a wide and multi-disciplinary review of touch, and observations of the macro and microstrutures of glabrous skin, this thesis develops an understanding of the key mechanical properties of this specialised skin, and presents a new hypothesis for the existence of an edge-encoding functional morphology. This thesis presents significant benefits to tactile end effector design that can be gained through mimicking the key mechanical structures of human glabrous skin. A new tactile end-effector design is presented and tested, which successfully demonstrates the capture of these key functional properties, creating a highly sensitive and accurate extraction of tactile features from a touched scene. This prototype device is both a practical and highly capable tactile sensing end effector. It achieves significant levels of compliance, sensitivity, contact surface area and strength for practical use in active exploration, and in grasping and manipulation of objects. The prototype device is strong, robust, reliable, simple and cheap to manufacture
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available