A glove containing force sensors has been built as a prototype of tactile sensor arrays to be worn on human hands and anthropomorphic robot hands. Whereas the force sensors of a prior force-sensing glove are mounted on the outside, the force sensors of this glove are mounted inside, in protective pockets; as a result of this and other design features, the present glove is more durable. The sensors, which cost only $3 apiece (2002), produce analog force readings in the range of 0 to 5 lb (0 to 22 N) at numerous locations across the hand.
To minimize false readings due to internal glove motions and/or tight fit of the glove on the hand, the pockets are constructed as recesses within modular foam inserts that are sewn into the glove. High-friction material provides good gripping surfaces for finger and palm contact areas. Textile stiffeners on the backsides of the sensors prevent deformation of the foam during motion. To ensure that forces are directed into the sensors and
not channeled through the relatively stiff gripping-surface material, stiff plastic beads are sewn in place between the sensors and the outer glove fabric.
This work was done by Melissa Butzer of Oceaneering Space Systems, Myron A. Diftler of Lockheed Martin Corp., and Eric Huber of Metrica, Inc., for Johnson Space Center. For more information, download the Technical Support Package (free white paper) at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Mechanics/ Machinery category. MSC-23544-1