This paper presents a theoretical framework for the design of tactile sensing fixtures for robotics and manufacturing. The framework presented uses group theory to analyze the symmetry of contact conditions on a fixture to determine if a fixture design is appropriate to determine the relative location of the sensor frame with respect to the fixture frame. Mechanical fixtures consisting of planar, spherical, and cylindrical surfaces are studied for their usefulness as part of referencing fixtures. The theory developed is used in guiding the design of a simple yet novel touch sensing fixture for part referencing and calibration in manufacturing and robotics.

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