Resistor-Based Shape Sensor for a Spatial Flexible Manifold

Oded Medina, Amir Shapiro, Nir Shvalb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


In robotics, knowing a mechanism's configuration is essential. Commonly, potentiometers or encoders are used in order to obtain the mechanism's configuration. Nevertheless, such sensors are useless for applications where a surface's spatial-shape is to be attained. For that end, we introduce a novel sensor mesh. We use an electrical-resistors grid as the shape sensor. The resistance in each grid segment changes with accordance to its length. So, by attaching the sensor mesh to an elastic grid, bending results with resistance change in the associated segments. For practical reasons, only the peripheral nodes are wired. We introduce an algorithm to extract the resistance of each of the segments. We then formulate the forward kinematics of elastic grid mechanisms which later on, we apply, in order to obtain an estimate for the surface shape. We exemplify our algorithm on a 40 resistors grid.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7604094
Pages (from-to)46-50
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Compressed sensing
  • electromechanical sensors
  • robot sensing systems
  • wearable sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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