Does your robot crush objects with its hulkishly strong grip? Give your robotic hand or claw a better sense of touch with the Robotic Finger Sensor.
The Robotic Finger Sensor (RFS) uses a unique combination of infrared distance sensing, optical encapsulant and data filtering to detect extremely light touches. Additionally, the silicon covering is squishy, giving the sensor increased grip (friction) and a qualitative sense of force; the sensor can’t output a quantitative number like 2.7 lbs of force, but it does output an increasing IR value indicating additional compression of the encapsulant.
How does it work? In short, IR light from the VCNL4040 distance sensor dramatically scatters when an object like a white coffee cup or human skin comes in contact with the face of the sensor. The example firmware demonstrates how to capture this signal and turn it into ‘Touch’ and ‘Release’ events.
The RFS requires 3.3V and communicates over I2C. It includes an 8" cable that is terminated in bare wires (it’s our 4-Pin JST product). These wires are 28AWG and too thin to reliably plug into a breadboard. We know this stinks, and we’re working on getting a better cable. For the time being, we recommend terminating the wires with thicker jumpers or your own 22AWG wire. The board has two small 2-56 screw holes for mounting. Hot glue also works well.
This is a collaboration with Professor Nikolaus Correll at CU Boulder. A portion of this sale is given back to Dr. Correll’s lab for the continued development of innovative robotic components.
The Robotic Finger Sensor is the first piece of autonomous robotic control. To see what’s possible when you couple vision systems with touch capability, have a look at full-stack autonomous manipulation using this sensor with ROS. CU is working on an impressive robotic perception stack to make this easier for the beginner.
Demonstration of feather detection
We do not plan to regularly carry SparkX products so get them while they’re hot!
- Robotic Finger Sensor
- 8" 4-Pin JST cable with bare wire termination
Documentation and Resources:
Exact shipping can be calculated on the view cart page (no login required).
We deliver Australia-wide with these options:
- $3 for Small Items (3-7 days, not tracked, only available on selected small items)
- $6.95 for Standard Post (2-4 days, tracked)
- $8.95 for Express Post (Overnight for Australia Post Next Day Network, tracked)
- Pickup - Free! Only available to customers who live in the Newcastle region (only after we email you to notify your order is ready)
International Orders - the following rates are for New Zealand and will vary for other countries:
- $11.49 for Pack and Track (3+ days, tracked)
- $16.50 for Express International (2-5 days, tracked)
If you order lots of gear, the postage amount might increment based on the weight of your order.
Our physical address (here's a PDF which includes other key business details):
Unit 18, 132 Garden Grove Parade
Take a look at our customer service page if you have other questions such as "do we do purchase orders" (yes!) or "are prices GST inclusive" (yes they are!). We're here to help - get in touch with us to talk shop.