Monofilament whisker-based mobile robot navigation

Rodents and pinnipeds use their tactile sense as the primary modes for localization and foraging. This abstract presents a rodent whisker-inspired tactile sensor for mobile robot navigation fabricated using the Semmes-Weinstein Monofilament (SWMF). The monofilament is lightweight, readily available, and generates reproducible buckling stresses. The sensor deflection characteristic has three distinct regions of operation that help detect buckling. The sensor’s small size, 360° tactile view, and force sensing capability could make it suitable for narrow space navigation.