Research Article Open Access

A Novel Tactile Force Probe for Tissue Stiffness Classification

Behafarid Darvish, Siamak Najarian, Elham Shirzad and Roozbeh Khodambashi


In this study, we have proposed a new type of tactile sensor that is capable of detecting the stiffness of soft objects. The sensor consists of a brass cylinder with an axial bore. An iron core can easily move inside the bore. Three peripheral bobbins were machined in the cylinder around which three coils have been wound. One of the coils was excited with an alternating current which caused a voltage to be induced in two other coils. A return spring was used to return the core to its initial position after it has been moved. The sensor was pressed against the surface of the object whose stiffness was going to be measured. The position of the core in this state was depended on the stiffness of the given object and the spring constant and was measured by measuring the change in the induced voltage in secondary coils. The proposed sensor was capable of measuring two contact parameters namely the applied force and the stiffness of the object. Using the data of this sensor, three different objects, made of polyurethane, silicon rubber and paraffin gel were discriminated. Thus, this sensor could be used in robot hands and minimally invasive surgery tools to improve their operation.

American Journal of Applied Sciences
Volume 6 No. 3, 2009, 512-517


Submitted On: 24 April 2008 Published On: 31 March 2009

How to Cite: Darvish, B., Najarian, S., Shirzad, E. & Khodambashi, R. (2009). A Novel Tactile Force Probe for Tissue Stiffness Classification. American Journal of Applied Sciences, 6(3), 512-517.

  • 21 Citations



  • Tactile sensor
  • contact force
  • softness classification
  • minimally invasive surgery