An optical-based multipoint 3-axis pressure sensor with a flexible thin-film form



Haoyang Wang, Wenqing Wang, Jae Joon Kim, Chunya Wang, Yan Wang, Binghao Wang, Sunghoon Lee, Tomoyuki Yokota, Takao Someya



Multipoint 3-axis tactile pressure sensing by a high-resolution and sensitive optical system provides rich information on surface pressure distribution and plays an important role in a variety of human interaction–related and robotics applications. However, the optical system usually has a bulky profile, which brings difficulties to sensor mounting and system integration. Here, we show a construction of thin-film and flexible multipoint 3-axis pressure sensor by optical methods. The sensor can detect the distribution of 3-axis pressure on an area of 3 centimeter by 4 centimeter, with a high-accuracy normal and tangential pressure sensing up to 360 and 100 kilopascal, respectively. A porous rubber is used as a 3-axis pressure-sensitive optical modulator to omit the thick and rigid focusing system without sacrificing the sensitivity. In addition, by integrating thin and flexible backlight and imager, the sensor has a total thickness of 1.5 milimeter, making it function properly even when bent to a radius of 18 milimeter.



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