Optical based tactile shear and normal load sensor

Patent Number: 9,052,775
Issued: 6/9/2015
Official Filing: View the Complete Patent
Abstract: Various technologies described herein pertain to a tactile sensor that senses normal load and/or shear load. The tactile sensor includes a first layer and an optically transparent layer bonded together. At least a portion of the first layer is made of optically reflective material. The optically transparent layer is made of resilient material (e.g., clear silicone rubber). The tactile sensor includes light emitter/light detector pair(s), which respectively detect either normal load or shear load. Light emitter(s) emit light that traverses through the optically transparent layer and reflects off optically reflective material of the first layer, and light detector(s) detect and measure intensity of reflected light. When a normal load is applied, the optically transparent layer compresses, causing a change in reflected light intensity. When shear load is applied, a boundary between optically reflective material and optically absorptive material is laterally displaced, causing a change in reflected light intensity.
Filed: 7/24/2012
Application Number: 13/556,393
Government Interests: STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-NA0003525 awarded by the United States Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. The Government has certain rights in the invention.