Robots to the Rescue!

[by Stephanie Chedíd]

An undeniable fact of creating thousands of hardware devices is that, inevitably, there will be minor variations in quality from one device to the next.  To make sure that each of the Morphs we send out are top notch, we custom-created a world class robot to help test out our devices.

This robot will be used to test the accuracy of our sensors and is able to detect the entire force range that our sensors are capable of detecting.  Here are some shots of the newest member of the Sensel team:

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The photo below shows one of the linear slides, which will allow us to position the tip with an accuracy finer than the width of a human hair:

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The robot has interchangeable tips to simulate different objects such as pens, pencils, and fingers. Below is a photo of the pen-like actuator tip:

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Four our first test, we tried exerting precise forces on a postal-scale, and were able to apply forces as light as the weight of a penny to as much as the weight of a liter of milk with incredible precision:

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In the coming weeks, we’ll be writing software to allow our robot to run all sorts of fun tests on our sensors. The goal: Top-notch sensors for all!

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