Friday, June 03, 2005

Antennae Offer Robotic Possibilities

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF and the University of Bielefeld have designed robotic antennae. Modeled on biology, the antenna provides touch feedback while being actuated by a pair of motors.

The researchers have integrated their antennae with hexapod robot. The motors move the feeler an oval-shaped path. Depending on where on the antenna it contacts an object an accelerometer measures changes to the oscillation frequency at the tip.

According to the researchers, "Mobile robots could be equipped with the sensor, for instance, because many optical sensors and camera systems fail in dusty or dirty environments."