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Feedback Control of a Foldable Delta Mechanism with Integrated Inkjet-Printed Angle Sensors

posted on 18.10.2021, 07:32 by Dila TürkmenDila Türkmen, Merve Acer Kalafat
Foldable robotics is accepted as one of the leading technologies in the soft robotics field. Integrating the sensing components, including hinge angle proprioception, into the robot with a single fabrication method is a part of the field’s ultimate goal. Here we present a cheap single-step method for angle sensing integration into the hinges, with an accurate and reproducible performance. We use silver nanoparticle inkjet printing on the flexible structural layer (PET) of the foldable robot (i.e. Delta robot), using an office-type printer. Silver printed sensors were studied for slight bending applications; however, we report their behavior under a 1 mm minimum radius of curvature, an advanced range both for silver strain sensors and any printed hinge position sensors. Among the three patterns studied, one gave a mean absolute dynamic hysteresis error below 1 degree. Reproducibility of a printed angle sensor behavior is reported for the first time, with three prototypes of each pattern (2degree standard deviation). Printed sensor feedback is tested with proportional control for the first time, via set-point and tracking tasks. On-off control law is also implemented and errors below 1 degree are achieved. Proportional control performances are compared with encoder feedback control and the difference between the realized trajectories are found to be under 1 mm in the task plane.


(TUBITAK) (Grant No. 216M193)


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Istanbul Technical University

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