The research project of three Undergraduates from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Moratuwa have been selected as one of the best 33 papers to be submitted to the IEEE Sensors Council.
Titled “Design and Development of a Novel 3D Printed 1-DOF Tactile Sensor with Conductive Polymer Based Sensing Element”, the paper was presented at the 2016 IEEE SENSORS Conference held from October 30th to November 2nd in Orlando, USA, This Conference is the flagship conference of the IEEE Sensors Council, an organization currently consisting of 25 IEEE member societies. In addition, it showcases high quality technical presentations on a broad range of topics related to sensors and sensor applications.
The students, Mr. A.H.T. Eranga De Silva, Mr. W.H.P. Sampath and Mr. N.H.L. Sameera were rewarded with a monetary prize for their unusual method of designing and fabricating tactile sensor using 3D printers. Sensors available nowadays do provide a host of important information related to robotics and the manufacturing process. They also provide information on everyday household appliances.
The issue here is that these sensors are pretty much standard sensors available almost anywhere commercially. If you are looking for custom sensors, then you’re pretty much out of luck especially if its for an industrial application. Using these sensors for industrial applications can result in sensors that are irregular or deformed, have unstable outputs and also possess unsuitable mechanical characteristics.
With the presentation of the paper, these students have successfully identified 3D printing as a method to design and develop a tailor-made customizable tactile sensor.
The students were under the supervision of Dr. Y.W.Ranjith Amarasinghe from the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Moratuwa along with assistance from Mr. T.D.I. Udayanga of the Department of Mechanical Engineering – University of Moratuwa, Mr.V.S.C. Weragoda of the Department of Materials Engineering – University of Moratuwa and Prof. A. Mitani from Sapporo City University, Japan. If you wish to check out their paper, you can do so here.