Touch sensors for humanoid hands

Alexander Schmitz*, Marco Maggiali, Lorenzo Natale, Giorgio Metta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

16 Citations (Scopus)


The sense of touch is of major importance for object handling. Nevertheless, adequate cutaneous sensors for humanoid robot hands are still missing. Designing such sensors is challenging, because they should not only give reliable measurements and integrate many sensing points into little space, but they should also be compliant and should not obstruct the other functions of the robot. This paper presents a capacitive pressure sensor system with 108 sensitive zones for the hands of the humanoid robot iCub. In particular, the palm has 48 taxels and each of the five fingertips has 12 taxels. The size and the shape of the hand are similar to that of a human child. When designing the sensors, we paid special attention to the integration on the robot. Also the ease and speed of production was an important design factor. Furthermore, the sensor incorporates silicone foam and is therefore compliant. We show the working principle of the sensor, how it has been integrated into the hands, and describe experiments that have been performed to show the characteristics of the sensor.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication19th International Symposium in Robot and Human Interactive Communication, RO-MAN 2010
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event19th IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, RO-MAN 2010 - Viareggio, Italy
Duration: 2010 Sept 122010 Sept 15

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Workshop on Robot and Human Interactive Communication


Conference19th IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, RO-MAN 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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