Scalable, Simulation-Guided Compliant Tactile Finger Design

2024 IEEE 7th International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft)(2024)

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Abstract
Compliant grippers enable robots to work with humans in unstructured environments. In general, these grippers can improve with tactile sensing to estimate the state of objects around them to precisely manipulate objects. However, co-designing compliant structures with high-resolution tactile sensing is a challenging task. We propose a simulation framework for the end-to-end forward design of GelSight Fin Ray sensors. Our simulation framework consists of mechanical simulation using the finite element method (FEM) and optical simulation including physically based rendering (PBR). To simulate the fluorescent paint used in these GelSight Fin Rays, we propose an efficient method that can be directly integrated in PBR. Using the simulation framework, we investigate design choices available in the compliant grippers, namely gel pad shapes, illumination conditions, Fin Ray gripper sizes, and Fin Ray stiffness. This infrastructure enables faster design and prototype time frames of new Fin Ray sensors that have various sensing areas, ranging from 48 mm × 8 mm to 70 mm × 35 mm. Given the parameters we choose, we can thus optimize different Fin Ray designs and show their utility in grasping day-to-day objects.
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Key words
Stiffness,Finite Element Method,Teleost,Illumination Conditions,Tactile Sensor,Mechanical Simulations,Finite Element Method Simulations,Unstructured Environments,Optical Simulation,Gel Pad,Linear Model,Light Source,Emission Spectra,Ellipsoid,Shape Memory,Stokes Shift,Narrow Space,Soft Robots,Fluorescent Materials,Strain Sensors,Soft Gripper,Finite Element Method Model,Triangular Face,Robotic Gripper,Nonlinear Elasticity,Nodal Coordinates,Dynamic Contact
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