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Publication - Mr Michael Elkington

    Layup end effectors with tactile sensing capabilities


    Elkington, M, Ward, C, Ward-Cherrier, B, Lepora, N, Pestell, N & Almas, E, 2019, ‘Layup end effectors with tactile sensing capabilities’. in: Suong V Hoa (eds) Proceedings of the 4th Symposium on Automated Composite Manufacturing. Concordia University Press


    In this work a tactile sensor is used to identify a range of common defects which can occur during the manufacture of composite materials. The Hand layup manufacturing method remains popular within the composites industry. One of key reasons for this is that the workers can use tactile feedback from their fingers in order to constantly monitor and adapt their actions to avoid defects. In this work a novel tactile senor is used to replicate this in an automated environment. It consists of a deformable membrane with multiple pins on the inner surface. When the sensor makes contact with a surface the membrane deforms and the subsequent movement of the pins is recorded by a camera. Image analysis combined with statistical data processing converts the video into a functional tactile sensor. In this study it is demonstrated successfully detecting defects such as ply drops, wrinkles bridging and foreign objects.

    Full details in the University publications repository