I feel you man!


roboy feeeeeeeeeels

This project’s goal is to build a “skin” for roboy’s lower arm that is capable of detecting and locating pressure.

Our Goal

   this semester we want…

build a skin for Roboy
build a prototype based on waveguides
build a test system for testing the skin
design a new motor board 
communicate with Ros and apply the reconstruction


         how we did it

pressure-sensitive silicone skin

Our approach is based on flexible, planar silicone waveguides. The idea is that, similar to a normal optical waveguide, three stacked planar layers are made from flexible materials. The inner layer has a higher refractive index and is optically translucent. Thus, light sent into the inner layer is kept inside thanks to total internal reflection. When pressure is applied on the skin, the amount of light that can pass through is reduced due to the deformation of the skin, the pressure throws a “shadow”. Sensors placed all around can measure this shadow. By switching on LEDs all around the skin sequentially, we get pressure data from multiple perspectives. Using different algorithms, the location and intensity of the pressure can be reconstructed as a pressure map.

Motor board

We chose to design the new motorboard using the TLE9879 from Infineon, as it provided us with an integrated solution to drive our motors, which allows us to create smaller, simpler motor boards. We managed to build a new motor board. 


   roboy’s skin can now…



with the new waveguides prototype

be tested

be tested

based on a 3D printer test system

sense even more

sense even more

due to the new motor board, which is smaller, simpler & has more sensors (Mic, IMU) on it

Final video: silicone skin

Final video: motor boards

The Team

            get to know the skinboard team

Team members SS2018

Mickey Wakefield (Team Lead)
Luis Vergara (Agile Coach)
Benjamin Jin
Daniel Schubert
Michael Sausmikat
Stephen Bullock
Xiao Chen


      codes, documentations & presentations

Where to go next

                         for the motor board & sensitive skin

Motor board

  • Make it smarter! (implement code for using onboard sensors)
  • Achieve SPI motor control using our own boards
  • Upgrade all controllers on Roboy 2.0

Sensitive Skin

  • Begin testing of our skin prototypes
  • Cover Roboy with Skin