Incorporating Force Sensing System in a Robotic Cell Design

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There are various force-sensing options available today, some of which are ideal for robotic applications. Different sensors from different manufacturers come with a wide range of features.
Determining how various force-sensing options can influence your robotic deployment design stage can be difficult. What features should you look out for to ease the design stage? Read on to understand. 

Force Sensing Designs are No Longer Sophisticated

Just recently, the key preference for incorporating robotic force-sensing was through the use of a six-axis force sensor via the strain-standard technology. Integrating these force sensors was a complex process needing extensive force regulation techniques, detailed knowledge, and advanced programming expertise.
Today, many people assume the process is still sophisticated, but things have changed. Various force-sensing options do not need intricate algorithms or programming. Some options facilitate the integration of the force-sensing systems with minimal human input. 
 

Robotic cell layout

What you Should Achieve from Robotic Force Sensing
One of the critical steps is to determine the features you need from your preferred force sensing system. Assess your robot application to establish the facets of your task that will gain from force-sensing integration. Ask yourself the following questions:
 What does my task involve?
 In which part of my task do I need to apply force-sensing?
 Which force-sensing option will be ideal in each step of the task? Consider force analysis for weight measurement, application of consistent force across the ask, and extensive insertion. 
 How accurate should the force sensing system be to accomplish my needs?
 Which other sections of my task qualify for force-sensing even though they may not need it?

While these questions may not give you a clear picture of every facet of your task, they will provide you with a comprehensive view of the impact of force sensing on your specific application. 

Basic Force-Sensing Requirements
Force-sensing requirements fall into three basic categories, as seen below. 
 

Unified Force-Sensing Robots for Efficiency of Use
Consider using a cobot (collaborative robot) with a unified force-torque sensing system to cut down integration effort and time. Today, collaborative robots are reliable and readily available. The e-Series robot from Universal Robots would be a perfect example in this case. It comes complete with a force-torque sensor. It also features software that can help solve possible challenges you may encounter along the way, eliminating the need for sophisticated programming. 

The Six-Axis Force-Torque Sensing Robot for Enhanced Flexibility
Many robots available today do not feature the force sensor. If you encounter such an option, you may want to utilize a borderline force-torque sensing system. This system offers a flexible solution allowing you to affix the sensor in the best position to facilitate the easy execution of your task.
Sometimes, connecting the sensor externally is better than along the end part of your robot. Incorporating force-torque sensing does not have to be sophisticated. Some sensors are user- friendly for various robotic applications.
 

Specific Requirements
Sometimes, six-axis force-sensing could be inappropriate for your needs. For instance, assuming you only need to identify collision activities in the robot. Here, you may want to utilize a primary force-sensing resistor connected to the robot to prevent force sensing in other areas. 
 

Incorporating Force-sensing in Your Robotic Design
Choosing your ideal sensor is the first step towards easing your design. With user-friendly integration options for external sensors or integrated force sensing systems, you do not need to incorporate complex features in your robotic cell design. You will only need to include a few programming featured to activate the integration. However, the robot software will handle the challenging task that comes with force sensing. Your design may vary based on less intuitive force-torque sensing systems or other technologies. You want to plan the connections and cabling towards the force sensor. Further, you may need to design your interfaces during programming to facilitate the proper functioning of the sensor. 

Finally
The ideal force sensing system for your specific needs depends on your application. Still, you
want to determine the most intuitive force sensing system that best suits your needs.

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