Biomimetic Tactile Sensor Array Based on Magnetostrictive Materials

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Tactile sensors enabling human-like perception are crucial for modern intelligent robotics. This study developed a biomimetic magnetostrictive tactile sensor consisting of Galfenol wires, permanent magnets, and a Hall sensor. This novel tactile sensor exhibits a static sensitivity of 23.86 mV/N and a measurement range up to 3 N. The sensitivity is stable up to 4 Hz. A theoretical model of the tactile sensor unit was derived to correlate the output voltage with the applied force. The modeling result shows an error of 1.65% in sensitivity compared to the experimental data. The response time and recovery time of the sensor are only 11 ms and 10 ms, faster than nanoscale type of sensor. A 3×3 magnetostrictive sensor array was constructed by integrating multiple magnetostrictive tactile sensors on a flexible printed circuit board. Since the outputs of the sensing units are not affected by each other, the array can be expanded as needed. Experimental results show that the sensor array is able to detect the geometry of the object in contact.