University of Twente Student Theses


Soft Robotics Joystick using 3-D Printed Piezoresistive Sensors with Digital Avatar Interface

Aldenkamp, M.A. (2024) Soft Robotics Joystick using 3-D Printed Piezoresistive Sensors with Digital Avatar Interface.

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Abstract:This thesis investigates the use of piezoresistive thermoplastic polyurethane composite materials to detect the change of geometry of a bellow, and to derive the angles to reconstruct the joystick in a digital avatar. To do this, a joystick is 3-D printed upon which the piezoresistive sensors are added. To print these sensors, g-code is written to follow the geometry of the bellows of the joystick. The avatar is constructed using a partial torus for each bellow, and a combination of an Arduino, an ADC converter, and a multiplexer are used to read the sensor data. From the sensor data, the angles are derived to interface with the avatar. The sensor data acquired from the conducted experiments were inconsistent, but showed recognisable resistance profiles which could be used reconstruct the joystick in the avatar, both bellows seperately and combined. Most of the unwanted signal behaviour could be attributed to previously studied phenomena, such as the piezoresistivity and the viscoelastic properties of the materials. The joystick constructed in this thesis is a successful proof of concept for the use of geometry specific specific piezoresistive sensor and demonstrates the potential for infinite degree of freedom teleoperation of soft robotics devices.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:TNW: Science and Technology
Subject:44 medicine, 51 materials science
Programme:Biomedical Technology BSc (56226)
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