Bionic RoboSkin - textile sensory surface for service robotics
New generations of robots should support us with a variety of semi-automatic or fully automated services. Flexible and mobile service robots would cooperate with people or act fully independently. Therefore, it is necessary to significantly improve their abilities in environment perception, data processing and mobility. At the same time, they must meet the highest standards of reliability and safety. Innovative electronics enable the necessary improvements and thus an appropriate behavior of the robot.
OBJECTIVES AND PROCEDURES
The aim of the Bionic RoboSkin project is to develop a robotic platform that is capable of autonomously navigating in its environment through its flexible bionic sensor skin. The sensor skin consists of a textile composite as a carrier for sensor elements and provides moisture-resistant electrical connections for power supply and communication. The integrated sensor modules allow the detection of touch and approach as well as exploring the environment. The functionality of the sensor skin is demonstrated by two service robotics applications: the autonomous survey of underwater structures (e.g. inspection of pipelines) and semi-autonomous geo-exploration in hard-to-reach areas (e.g. monitoring for tunnel constructions).
INNOVATIONS AND PERSPECTIVES
Unmanned robots play a major role for underwater applications. Due to the textile nature of the sensor skin, it can be flexibly adapted to different robotic platforms and used in other industries such as offshore exploration and wind farming.