A compliant 2x2 tactile sensor array was developed and investigated for roughness encoding. State of the art cross shape 3D MEMS sensors were integrated with polymeric packaging providing in total 16 sensitive elements to external mechanical stimuli in an area of about 20 mm2, similarly to the SA1 innervation density in humans. Experimental analysis of the bio-inspired tactile sensor array was performed by using ridged surfaces, with spatial periods from 2.6 mm to 4.1 mm, which were indented with regulated 1N normal force and stroked at constant sliding velocity from 15 mm/s to 48 mm/s. A repeatable and expected frequency shift of the sensor outputs depending on the applied stimulus and on its scanning velocity was observed between 3.66 Hz and 18.46 Hz with an overall maximum error of 1.7%. The tactile sensor could also perform contact imaging during static stimulus indentation. The experiments demonstrated the suitability of this approach for the design of a roughness encoding tactile sensor for an artificial fingerpad.
Oddo, C. M., Beccai, L., Felder, M., Giovacchini, F., & Carrozza, M. C. (2009). Artificial roughness encoding with a bio-inspired MEMS- Based tactile sensor array. Sensors, 9(5), 3161–3183. https://doi.org/10.3390/s90503161