Thin and Flexible Position Sensor
Makoto Shimojo and Masatoshi Ishikawa
Industrial Products Research Institute, AIST, MITI, 1-1-4 Higashi, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki 305, Japan
An artificial sensitive skin will be necessary for an intelligent robot in the near future. The sensor we propose is one step toward realizing such a sensitive skin for a robot. The sensor outputs an area of contact and its center and has the following features. (1) The area of contact and the center output are direct and do not require any computational effort. (2) As the sensor is pliable and has sheetlike form, it can be mounted on a curved surface. (3) The sensor needs only four wires. (4) The sensor is resistant to electrical noise. (5) Pressure sensitivity can be changed by modifying the pressure-conductive structure. In this paper, the working principle and the basic experiments are shown.