The Effects of Fluidic Loading on Underwater Contact Sensing with Robotic Fins and Beams


As robots become more involved in underwater operations, understanding underwater contact sensing with compliant systems is fundamental to engineering useful haptic interfaces and vehicles. Despite knowledge of contact sensation in air, little is known about contact sensing underwater and the impact of fluid on both the robotic probe and the target object. The objective of this work is to understand the effects of fluidic loading, fin webbing, and target object geometry on strain sensation within compliant robotic fins and beams during obstacle contact. General descriptions of obstacle contact were sought for strain measurements in fins and beams. Multiple phases of contact were characterized where the robot, fluid, and object interact to affect sensory signals. Unlike in air, the underwater structure-fluid-structure interaction (SFSI) caused changes to strain in each phase of contact. The addition of webbing to beams created a mechanical coupling between adjacent beams, which changed contact strains. Complex obstacle geometries tended to make contact less apparent and caused stretch in fins. This work demonstrates several effects of fluidic loading on strain sensing with compliant robotic beams and fins as they contact obstacles in air and underwater, and provides guidance for future work in underwater active sensing with compliant manipulators.

DOI: 10.1109/TOH.2015.2485200

Cite this paper

@article{Kahn2016TheEO, title={The Effects of Fluidic Loading on Underwater Contact Sensing with Robotic Fins and Beams}, author={Jeff C. Kahn and James L. Tangorra}, journal={IEEE transactions on haptics}, year={2016}, volume={9 2}, pages={184-95} }