This paper reports on a tactile sensor using piezoresistive beams for detection of the coefficient of static friction merely by pressing the sensor against an object. The sensor chip is composed of three pairs of piezoresistive beams arranged in parallel and embedded in an elastomer; this sensor is able to measure the vertical and lateral strains of the elastomer. The coefficient of static friction is estimated from the ratio of the fractional resistance changes corresponding to the sensing elements of vertical and lateral strains when the sensor is in contact with an object surface. We applied a normal force on the sensor surface through objects with coefficients of static friction ranging from 0.2 to 1.1. The fractional resistance changes corresponding to vertical and lateral strains were proportional to the applied force. Furthermore, the relationship between these responses changed according to the coefficients of static friction. The experimental result indicated the proposed sensor could determine the coefficient of static friction before a global slip occurs.
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