From Robotics

      In This Chapter
  • Introduction to Robotic Manipulators
  • Classifi cation of Sensors
  • Encoders and Dead Reckoning
  • Infrared Sensors
  • Ground-based RF Systems
  • Active Beacons
  • Ultrasonic Transponder Trilateration
  • Accelerometers
  • Gyroscopes
  • Laser Range Finder
  • Vision-based Sensors
  • Color-tracking Sensors
  • Sensor Mounting Arrangement
  • Design of the Circuitry
  • Reading the Pulses in a Computer


There are a wide variety of sensors used in mobile robots (Figure 6.1). Some sensors are used to measure simple values like the internal temperature of a robot s electronics or the rotational speed of the motors. Other, more sophisticated sensors can be used to acquire information about the robot s environment or even to directly measure a robot s global position. We classify sensors using two important functional axes:

  • proprioceptive/exteroceptive and
  • passive/active.

Examples of robots with multisensor systems

FIGURE 6.1   Examples of robots with multisensor systems.
(a) Helpmate from Transition Research Corporation;
(b) BIBA Robot, BlueBotics SA.

Proprioceptive sensors measure values internal to the system (robot); for example, motor speed, wheel load, robot arm joint angles, and battery voltage.

Exteroceptive sensors acquire information from the robot s environment; for example, distance measurements, light intensity, and sound amplitude. Hence, exteroceptive sensor measurements are interpreted by the robot in order to extract meaningful environmental features.

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Products & Services
Stepper Motors (rotary)
Stepper motors use a magnetic field to move a rotor in small angular steps or fractions of steps. They provide precise positioning and ease of use, especially in low acceleration or static load applications.
DC Servomotors
DC servomotors are generally small and powerful for their size, and easy to control. Common types of DC servomotors include brushless or gear motors.
Tactile Pressure Sensors
Tactile pressure sensors are used to detect the pressure distribution between a sensor and a target.
Capacitors are electronic components used for storing charge and energy. In their simplest form, capacitors consist of two conducting plates separated by an insulating material called the dielectric.

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