The optimum design of strain-gaged force sensors is examined for maximum stiffness, sensitivity, and dynamic behavior. Guidelines derived from the formulation (and solution to) the classical optimization problem state that sensors with less sensitivity produce higher stiffness, sensors with small geometries will yield higher equivalent stiffness for the same sensitivity, and the preferred strain mode depends on the range of sensitivity being considered. The optimum design techniques are illustrated by analyzing the design of a sensor used to measure the forces produced in robotic water-jet cutting.

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