Abdi, Hamid, Asgari, Marzieh and Nahavandi, Saeid 2011, Active surface shaping for artificial skins, in SMC 2011 : Conference proceeding of the 2011 International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, IEEE, [Anchorage, Alaska], pp. 2910-2915.
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Artificial skins exhibit different mechanical properties in compare to natural skins. This drawback makes physical interaction with artificial skins to be different from natural skin. Increasing the performance of the artificial skins for robotic hands and medical applications is addressed in the present paper. The idea is to add active controls within artificial skins in order to improve their dynamic or static behaviors. This directly results into more interactivity of the artificial skins. To achieve this goal, a piece-wise linear anisotropic model for artificial skins is derived. Then a model of matrix of capacitive MEMS actuators for the control purpose is coupled with the model of artificial skin. Next an active surface shaping control is applied through the control of the capacitive MEMS actuators which shapes the skin with zero error and in a desired time. A simulation study is presented to validate the idea of using MEMS actuator for active artificial skins. In the simulation, we actively control 128 capacitive micro actuators for an artificial fingertip. The fingertip provides the required shape in a required time which means the dynamics of the skin is improved.