Monday, September 15, 2008

Touch sensor that sees the sense of touch


Researchers Vivek Maheshwaria and Ravi F. Saraf at Univ. of Nebrask presented an interesting touch (tactile) sensor structure [1]. It is well known that most touch sensors convert physical touch to changes in electricity. For example, capacitive touch sensors measure capacitance changes produced by human touch. However, the presented sensor glows in response to applied pressure. Therefore, it is possible to get very high resolutioin pressure measurement comparable to human finger with the combination of CCD image sensor,

In macrosopic level, Japanese researchers introduced a similar concept (GelForce) to detect pressure [3].

Although the resolution is quite high for human computer interface, it is very useful to build surgical robots [2].

[Via Scientific American, Nebraska News Releases]


[1] Vivek Maheshwari and Ravi F. Saraf, "High-Resolution Thin-Film Device to Sense Texture by Touch," Science, Vol. 312, No. 9, pp. 1501-1504, Jun. 9 2006.

[2] Richard Crowder, "Toward Robots That Can Sense Texture by Touch," Science, Vol. 31, No. 9, pp. 1478-1479, Jun. 9 2006.

[3] K. Kamiyama et al., "GelForce," in ACM SIGGRAPH2004, p. 5, 2004.

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