Skinning a Robot: Design Methodologies for Large-Scale Robot Skin

Le, Thuy-Hong-Loan; Maiolino, Perla; Mastrogiovanni, Fulvio and Cannata, Giorgio. 2016. Skinning a Robot: Design Methodologies for Large-Scale Robot Skin. IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, 23(4), pp. 150-159. ISSN 1070-9932 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Providing a robot with large-scale tactile sensing capabilities requires the use of design tools bridging the gap between user requirements and technical solutions. Given a set of functional requirements (e.g., minimum spatial sensitivity or minimum detectable force), two prerequisites must be considered: (i) the capability of the chosen tactile technology to satisfy these requirements from a technical standpoint; (ii) the ability of the customisation process to find a trade-off among different design parameters, such as (in case of robot skins based on the capacitive principle) dielectric thickness, diameter of sensing points, or weight. The contribution of this paper is two-fold: (i) the description of the possibilities offered by a design toolbox for large-scale robot skin based on Finite Element Analysis and optimisation principles, which provides a designer with insights and alternative choices to obtain a given tactile performance according to the scenario at hand; (ii) a discussion about the intrinsic limitations in simulating robot skin.

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Identification Number (DOI):


Robot sensing systems, Skin, Large-scale systems, Finite element analysis, Optimization, Design methodology

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1 December 2016Published
6 October 2016Published Online
24 March 2016Accepted

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Date Deposited:

22 Mar 2016 11:19

Last Modified:

15 Jun 2020 11:32

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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