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Recent trends and role of large area flexible electronics in shape sensing application – a review
R.A. Shaik,
Published in Emerald Group Holdings Ltd.
Purpose: This paper aims to review the shape sensing techniques using large area flexible electronics (LAFE). Shape perception of humanoid robots using tactile data is mainly focused. Design/methodology/approach: Research papers on different shape sensing methodologies of objects with large area, published in the past 15 years, are reviewed with emphasis on contact-based shape sensors. Fiber optics based shape sensing methodology is discussed for comparison purpose. Findings: LAFE-based shape sensors of humanoid robots incorporating advanced computational data handling techniques such as neural networks and machine learning (ML) algorithms are observed to give results with best resolution in 3D shape reconstruction. Research limitations/implications: The literature review is limited to shape sensing application either two- or three-dimensional (3D) LAFE. Optical shape sensing is briefly discussed which is widely used for small area. Optical scanners provide the best 3D shape reconstruction in the noncontact-based shape sensing; here this paper focuses only on contact-based shape sensing. Practical implications: Contact-based shape sensing using polymer nanocomposites is a very economical solution as compared to optical 3D scanners. Although optical 3D scanners can provide a high resolution and fast scan of the 3D shape of the object, they require line of sight and complex image reconstruction algorithms. Using LAFE larger objects can be scanned with ML and basic electronic circuitory, which reduces the price hugely. Social implications: LAFE can be used as a wearable sensor to monitor critical biological parameters. They can be used to detect shape of large body parts and aid in designing prosthetic devices. Tactile sensing in humanoid robots is accomplished by electronic skin of the robot which is a prime example of human–machine interface at workplace. Originality/value: This paper reviews a unique feature of LAFE in shape sensing of large area objects. It provides insights from mechanical, electrical, hardware and software perspective in the sensor design. The most suitable approach for large object shape sensing using LAFE is also suggested. © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.
About the journal
JournalIndustrial Robot
PublisherEmerald Group Holdings Ltd.