Where/Why do you need force sensor?

  • Dear all! :help:

    I need your experience, knowledge and help!
    I work for a force sensor company (a bit bigger than a startup :) ). We would like to make a new product (a new 6 axis force and torque sensor) for collaborative robots (e.g: UR).
    But i'm stucked. :wallbash:
    I don't know which applications these robots are used most often, and where (why) would be handy (and important) to have a 6 axis F/T sensor.

    So what are the problems that you are facing and may be solved with a 6 axis F/T sensor?
    What do you think which application requires a 6 axis F/T sensor in the field of Collaborative robots (Machine Tending- why? Pick&Place-why? -Small Part Assembly-why? etc.)
    Do you have any special requirement for the F/T sensor? It has to be light or it must have a hole in the middle etc.?
    One more comment (if it helps) our technology is based on the measurement of a silicone elastomer so it is a rather compliant sensor, this may come handy in assembly thanks, but correct my if i'm wrong!

    Thank you for your time and help!

    Edited once, last by AkosTar ().

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  • i think there is a lot of Potential, but you will need a complete solution, which helps an Customer to fix a Problem.
    Dont know who needs it.
    Another Question is, what is the prize for that sensor ?
    All Sensors in market are expensive and hard to configure. So most Customers dont use it.

  • Thank you for the feedback!
    One key think as you suggested is to give an easy way to access the F/T sensor data, where the ROS platform has a huge advantage.
    Our current 6 axis F/T sensor is around 2500EUR (with DAQ).

    But we have just started the development for the industrial version so don't know the final price yet (of course it will also depend on the quantity).
    What do you think what would be the price that integrator would pay for such a F/T sensor?

  • Price policy is not enough in this case. Because your product must be approve by robot manufacturer and it can be complete integrate to robot system. Only hardware integration not enough because force sensor application using some specific softwares an plugins for robot systems and this are developing by robot manifacturer.

  • So you suggest that we must cooperate with big manufacturers to have some support for the F/T sensor in their core robot programming software?

    This one sounds tough. Do you know a manufacturer that might be willing to cooperate?

  • Most of big manufacturers like ABB, Fanuc or Kuka have their own plug-ins and softwares. Do they use their own force/ torque sensors? I don't know. As for the applications for force control, you can use it for e.g. assembling parts, grinding or chamfering for maintainig the same force when tool is beeing comnsumed.

    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." A.C. Clarke

  • As we would like to make a custom sensor for these application, it would be a big help if you could proved some feedback what is important for you in these kind of force sensor. What is the load range it has to work in? What do you suggest?

  • The uses for these sensors vary wildly. Sometimes they need delicate precision, sometimes they need very high forces. Sometimes they need to be able to carry a 200kg weight while still accurately detecting and measuring external forces of a few Newtons.

    For robotic use, possibly the most critical factor is the calibration and center point. In order for a robot to use a multi-axis force-torque sensor correctly, it has to know exactly where the sensor is measuring those forces, and then project from there to where the forces are actually being applied.

    If you look at this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ro6rQbePqE you will see what I mean. The sensor is mounted back at the robot wrist, and it measures the forces and torques relative to its own center point. But the point at which the forces are being applied is out at the far end of the drive shaft. So the robot must know two things with precision: the exact position of the sensor's "center", relative to the tool mounting flange, and the position of the point of contact (the far end of the drive shaft, in this case), also relative to the tool mounting flange. With these two pieces of information, the robot can take the forces and torques from the sensor and calculate the actual forces and torques being encountered at the point of contact.

    For realtime control, speed and update rate are also critical. The sensor will also need good protection against drift, and/or a robust means of on-the-fly taring. Immunity to RFI noise, dust, liquids (IP65 or better, usually) for industrial environments. Easy setup (like determining the position of the sensor's center point relative to the tool flange). Ability to connect to various industrial fieldbus systems.

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